Court Orders Repayment of $45,896 and Sentences Former Fund Manager In Pension Plan Theft to Serve 5 Years of Probation
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Southern Division, has sentenced a former fund manager in Birmingham to make restitution in the amount of $45,896 and serve five years of probation, including six months of home confinement, for violating the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. In addition, she has been barred from acting as a fiduciary for five years.
The action follows a U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration investigation that determined Brandi Box Stephens, as fund manager for the Iron Workers Local Union No. 92 Welfare Plan and the Iron Workers Local Union No. 92 Pension Plan, altered her own paychecks by increasing the amount she was due, as well as issuing additional payroll checks to herself by securing signatures of plan trustees and changing the name of the payee on the check to match her name.
In addition, Stephens entered false information on the paper stubs attached to the physical checks, and made fraudulent entries into the plans’ accounting records.
“Theft from retirement plans and pensions has significant adverse effects on the livelihood and peace of mind of workers,” said Employee Benefits Security Administration Regional Director Isabel Colon, in Atlanta. “Our Department takes these actions seriously and will continue to investigate any action that threatens retirement benefits workers have earned.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Alabama prosecuted the case.
Employers and workers can reach EBSA toll-free at 866-444-3272 for help with problems related to private sector retirement and health plans. Additional information can be found at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa.