Morrow, Ohio-based third-party plan administrator pleads guilty to embezzlement of $1 million from retirement plan clients

CINCINNATI — The third-party administrator to 56 employee benefit plans — most covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act — located throughout Ohio and several other states pleaded guilty to one count of embezzlement of $1 million in assets from 12 retirement plans.

The additional locations of the plans are Beth Park and Ford City, Pa.; South Plainfield, N.J.; Waltham, Mass.; Anderson, Ind.; Saco, Maine; and Orange Beach, Ala.

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 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.

This case was investigated by EBSA's Cincinnati Regional Office with assistance from the Warren County Sherriff's Department and was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Cincinnati.

U.S. v. Cox
Criminal Number 1:10CR094