MML Clip: Western Mixers Must Return Money To Pension Following DoL Agreement

Los Angeles-based Western Mixers is set to restore $1.28 million to its money purchase pension plan following an agreement the fruit and nut company reached with the Department of Labor, a spokeswoman for the DoL confirmed.  The company agreed to reinstate $802,901 to the plan in the next 10 days; the company has already repaid $485,000 to the plan.

According to a statement released by the DoL, an investigation by the Los Angeles Regional Office of Labor Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration found that the company and two officers who served as trustees for the plan, Frank Rudy and David Bolstad, did not make close to $952,511 in mandatory contributions to the plan. It was also revealed that the same officers as well as the company’s chief financial officer, Robert Fischer, withdrew $565,000 from plan accounts to use for the company’s general business.

“This is a clear breach of fiduciary duty,” Phyllis Borzi, assistant secretary of labor for employee benefits security, explained in the DoL statement. The plan had approximately $2.1 million in assets and 29 participants, according to the DoL spokeswoman, who noted that the plan’s third-party administrator was Jack Cross & Associates.

Bolstad, Fischer and Jack Cross & Associates did not immediately return calls for comment. Rudy declined to comment.

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