DoL Sues Illinois Couple for Union Plans Wrongdoing

July 7, 2005 ( - Federal officials have hit two Illinois residents with a federal court lawsuit charging them with improperly imposing plan fees and a variety of other misdeeds in connection with a dozen pension and welfare plans.

>The US Department of Labor (DoL) filed the suit against Michael Linder, Elizabeth Linder and their companies, Crete, Illinois-based Joseph/Anthony & Associates Inc. and Liz/Mar and Associates Inc., and three plan trustees. The suit contained allegations about their services to 12 pension and welfare plans of six Illinois local unions and their respective employer associations, according to a DoL news release.

>The lawsuit charged that Michael Linder, through Joseph/Anthony & Associates, Inc., made unauthorized payments for a variety of expenses and arranged for payments to Joseph/Anthony & Associates, Inc. and Liz/Mar and Associates, Inc. from parties doing business with the plans.  

>The complaint also alleges that Fred Schreier, a trustee of the Machinery Movers, Riggers & Machinery Erectors Local 136 plans, and Thomas Kisting, plan administrator for the Iron Workers Local 498 plans, each received a gift of a motorcycle from Michael Linder to influence their actions in carrying out responsibilities with the plan assets.  

>The Labor Department has asked a Chicago federal judge to order Michael Linder and Elizabeth Linder and their respective companies, and Schreier and Kisting to restore to the appropriate plans all losses incurred as a result of breaches of their fiduciary responsibilities, and to prohibit them from serving as fiduciaries or service providers to any employee benefit plans covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).