DoL Sues CA Firm over Diverted 401(k) Funds

The U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) has charged that a Laguna Hills, California, firm diverted more than $920,000 in employee and employer contributions owed to the company’s 401(k) plan.

The DoL alleged in a federal court suit against Journey Electrical Technologies Inc. that Timothy Hardt and Mark Dell Donne failed to collect the contributions between 2004 and 2008 and that the money was co-mingled with other funds and used for purposes other than the plan.

Dell Donne is the president and chief executive officer of the company and Hardt is a former officer.  At the time of the alleged violations, the defendants were trustees of the plan, which covered approximately 264 employees, the DoL said.

The suit asks the court to require that Hardt and Dell Donne restore contributions and lost opportunity costs owed to the plan, and also to remove Dell Donne as a fiduciary to this plan as well as bar both Hardt and Dell Donne from serving as fiduciaries or service providers to any plan governed by ERISA.  In addition, the suit asks the court to appoint an independent fiduciary to manage and administer the plan.

Journey Electrical Technologies Inc. is an electrical contracting company that has performed work on municipal and state public works projects.