ERISA Lawsuit Filed Against WI Construction Company

A construction company in Wisconsin is the target of a federal lawsuit alleging ERISA violations that resulted in $4 million of plan losses for employees.

President and CEO of Westra Construction Inc. in Waupun, Wisconsin, is named in the suit along with a trustee of the company’s ESOP. The lawsuit was filed by the Department of Labor in United States District Court in Milwaukee. Westra is accused doctoring financial reports and ordering the plan to buy 40,000 shares of non-voting convertible preferred Westra company stock for $4 million.

Two years following the $4 million purchase, Westra ceased operations, making the stock worthless.

The Labor Department lawsuit is seeking to restore the employee stock ownership plan.

Assistant Secretary of Labor of the Employee Benefits Security Administration, Phyllis C. Borzi said Westra “diverted retirement assets to subsidize corporate activities, thereby jeopardizing the future retirement income of their workers…”

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