MA Firm Agrees to Deal in Pension Fraud Case

October 25, 2005 ( - A Massachusetts property management firm has agreed to a $126,000 settlement deal to dispose of federal charges that it shortchanged a pension plan member.

The pact between the US Department of Labor (DoL) and Buscone Management of Milford, Massachusetts has been approved by a federal judge, according to a news report in the Metrowest Daily News.

Buscone Management and its president, Joseph S. Buscone of Dennis, will pay $110,000 to Camilla Amandolare, a former employee of the company who claimed she was sacked after she challenged her pension benefit decision. Buscone will also pay a $16,000 fine to the DoL for violating the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

The DoL filed a lawsuit against Buscone in November 2004 after investigating Amandolare’s complaint (See DoL Files Suit Against Pension Owner, Alleging ERISA Violation ). The department said it determined that Buscone Management did not account for all of her years of service at the company in calculating her accrued pension benefits.

The suit says the company’s pension plan called for employee benefits to be computed based on all years of service. The Labor Department said Amandolare was informed by Buscone that it was disregarding her employment prior to January 1993, thereby reducing her accrued pension benefit.

The Labor Department said Buscone financially benefited from the move by lowering the company’s insurance premiums owed to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.

Under the settlement, Amandolare will receive $80,316 in unpaid accrued pension benefits, $29,684 in back wages and lost benefits, plus interest from Buscone Management. The company has denied wrongdoing (See MA Property Mgr. Denies Pension Wrongdoing ).