Louisiana Man Charged with Taking $80,000 from 401(k)s

August 2, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A Baton Rouge, Louisiana man has been accused of stealing more than $80,000 from the 401(k) accounts of his company's retirement fund.

James Hoffman III was the majority owner and the former CEO and treasurer of Plant Specialties Control, a company that repaired and remanufactured control valves for industrial pipelines. He was also director and CEO of F-H Controls, an affiliate of his company that resold control valves, the Associated Press reported.

Hoffman served as one of the two trustees for the companies’ 401(k) plans. He had stopped paying employee contributions to the plans that were deducted from their paychecks.

According to the AP, authorities say he embezzled more than $80,000 from the fund between January 2002 and August 2003.

The two companies have since been sold and reimbursements to the plans were made before Hoffman was charged. He faces up to five years in prison if he is convicted of stealing from the plans.

Hoffman was also charged with submitting $150,000 in fake invoices to Gulf Coast Bank and Trust Co. of New Orleans, which handled accounts receivables for customers of PSC and FH Controls. He faces a 30-year sentence if he is convicted for fraud.