TPA Owner Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Retirement Plan Funds

February 23, 2011 ( - The third-party administrator to 56 employee benefit plans for companies located throughout Ohio and several other states pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement of $1 million in assets from 12 retirement plans.

A Department of Labor news release said Rhonda Sue Irvin Cox, owner of Irvin Administrative Solutions LLC, embezzled the assets from the plans between January 2003 and April 2007 while serving as their administrator.  Cox also pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements in documents required under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) to be kept and certified by the plans’ administrator.  

When sentenced, she faces a maximum of five years in prison on each criminal count, a $250,000 fine and a special assessment.  Cox is scheduled to be sentenced on June 1, 2011.   

“This defendant’s theft of employee benefit assets jeopardized the retirement security of workers covered by these plans.  This crime is particularly egregious in light of the duty of plan officials and service providers to protect plan assets from abuse,” said Phyllis C. Borzi, assistant secretary of the Labor Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, in the announcement.