The Department of Labor's Handling of the Investigation and Litigation of Alleged Abuses of the Southern Nevada Culinary Workers and Bartenders Pension Trust Fund

HRD-84-60: Published: Sep 28, 1984. Publicly Released: Nov 5, 1984.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the Department of Labor's handling of the investigation and litigation of alleged abuses of the Southern Nevada Culinary Workers and Bartenders Pension Trust Fund which resulted in one of the major lawsuits brought to date under the Employment Retirement Security Act (ERISA).

GAO found that, under its ERISA responsibilities, Labor investigated certain allegations made against the Trust, substantiated the alleged problems, and initiated civil litigation against its trustees. However, although Labor had indications of problems with the financial management of the Trust in 1975, it did not begin an onsite investigation until March 1977. Labor stated that, in 1975, it did not have ERISA enforcement procedures and that it was focusing its time on other types of duties. GAO found that Labor does not have formal policies and procedures regarding its role in the selection of trust fund asset managers, and that it did not establish procedures to monitor the Trust's asset manager's activities. GAO noted that it could not determine how widespread or significant the problem might be since the review was limited to one fund.

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