DoL Files Suit Against Jersey Fund Trustees, Providers

October 6, 2004 ( - The Department of Labor (DoL) has launched a legal attack against the trustees and services providers of the H.E.R.E. Local 4-69 Health Fund of Secaucus, New Jersey, alleging that the defendants misused plan assets to pay excessive and unreasonable compensation for services.

>The lawsuit names trustees David Feeback, Theresa Alfano, Steven Silverberg, and Stuart Elfenbein, as well as service providers Jersey Integrated Health Network LLC, Jersey Integrated Health Practice, Inc., and their owner, Manmohann Patel. It alleges that over $2 million of losses were incurred by the fund because of excessive fees and commissions paid to Patel and his companies to provide a network of medical providers and administration services. Feeback is also alleged to have been reimbursed for over $50,000 in unreasonable expenses. These actions occurred between 1998, and 2002, according to the suit.

>The suit seeks to restore all losses to the fund plus interest, as well as to require the undoing of any transaction prohibited by law. It also seeks to remove the defendants from their positions in the fund, and bar all defendants from ever servicing a plan that falls under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) again.

>In a separate case, Feeback was indicted in August by a federal court for embezzling over $130,000 in assets from the union and the health fund.

>The H.E.R.E. 4-69 Health Fund provided medical, prescription drug and dental benefits to over 3,000 union members in New Jersey and had assets of over $1,800,000 as of the end of 2001. The suit was filed in federal district court in Newark, as Chao v. Feeback.