DoL Recovers $750,000 for Georgia Plumbers Health Plan

January 7, 2009 ( - The U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) has obtained consent judgments restoring an additional $250,000 to the Georgia Plumbers Trade Association Health Plan in Griffin, Georgia, and requiring the payment of a $50,000 civil penalty to the federal government.

According to a DoL news release, earlier this year, a court ordered restitution of more than $500,000 for losses suffered by the plan. The department filed two separate lawsuits in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia that alleged the defendants affiliated with the health plan violated provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).  

Defendants Marc Meixner, GPTA Benefits Group Inc., and Leslie E. Smith, Employers OneSource Inc., allegedly failed to properly evaluate and underwrite benefits, failed to adjust rates and benefits to pay promised benefits, failed to adequately fund claims owed by the plan, and paid excessive fees for services provided to the health plan. The DoL claimed these defendants’ affiliated firms, GPTA Benefits Group and Employers OneSource, improperly dealt with the plan’s assets and received compensation for their personal benefit, the department further alleged.  

In addition, Ron Anderson, Windell Peters, as officers of the Georgia association and plan trustees, were accused of failing to oversee, monitor, and control the health plan’s assets.

In addition to the restitution, the court provided injunctive relief against various defendants and permanently barred Anderson, Peters, and Meixner from serving as fiduciaries to any plan governed by ERISA in the future.