According to the Durham Herald-Sun, a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina alleged that Joseph Morales and four other defendants failed to discharge their fiduciary duties to the 401(k) plan in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The environmental and pharmaceutical testing services company filed for bankruptcy in 2004, and in March 2008, the court appointed an independent fiduciary to oversee the plan’s assets.
Following trial, the court ordered Joseph Morales to restore $54,317.49 to the retirement fund, the news report said. In separate judgments, defendant Donald Harvan was required to restore $25,000 to the plan, and Debbie Monaghan and Craig Stoke were ordered to restore $9,000 to the 401(k) plan.
In addition, all of the defendants are barred in the future from serving as fiduciaries to any employee benefit plan governed by ERISA.
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