According to the Lisbon (Ohio) Morning Journal, employees of the failed company plan to file suit against the bank over the issue; however, National claims that it has transferred plan assets and plan records to the new trustee of the Sterling pension, Park National Bank. The bank also claims that it has received no further requests for such documents.
According to the bank, Sterling China USA (and its predecessor, Sterling China Co.) has not met its obligations owed to National, even with multiple extensions. Sterling China Co. ceased operations in December, 2003; its predecessor promised to purchase the companies assets, but after 15 months, has failed to do so. After 15 months, the bank claims that it exercised its legal right to the assets subject to its lien interests.
Sterling China has been sued by employees – with the help of the bank – for not making promised contributions to workers’ pension plans. However, employees are now accusing National of withholding pension documents from the plan’s new trustee.