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Lansing business owner sentenced after federal investigation finds they failed to forward employee contributions to retirement plan

LANSING, MI – A Lansing business owner who failed to forward $25,252 in employer contributions and $52,753 in employee payroll-deducted retirement contributions to his company’s individual retirement plan will pay $798 in court fines and costs after pleading guilty in Michigan’s 30th Circuit Court of Ingham County.

On July 20, 2021, Judge Rosemarie E. Aquilina entered sentencing against Camron Scott Gnass of Dimondale for three counts of larceny by conversion. The judge credited him for the two years he has served on bond release in lieu of imposing probation. Prior to sentencing, Gnass repaid a total of $78,006 in unremitted employee and employer contributions plus $8,195 in lost opportunity costs to the plan.

The court’s action follows a U.S. Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration investigation that found he did not forward the funds to the Vision Creative Inc. Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees Individual Retirement Account. The account was available to employees of both Vision Creative Inc. and Traction Inc. in Lansing. Gnass is the owner and president of both companies and the IRA plan’s only fiduciary. 

EBSA investigators determined that, over a 10-year period from 2008 to 2017, Gnass converted $52,753 of participant contributions to his own use. During this period, he should have also remitted $25,252 to the plan as a required employer contribution. 

“This theft denied beneficiaries their hard-earned retirement savings and eroded their trust that their employer will forward automatic payroll contributions to benefit plans and manage those funds in their best interest as the law requires,” said Employee Benefits Security Administration Regional Director L. Joe Rivers in Cincinnati. “The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration is committed to ensuring the integrity of employee benefit programs and prosecuting those who violate the law.”

The case was prosecuted by the Michigan Attorney General’s office.

Employers and workers can reach EBSA toll-free at 866-444-3272 for help with problems related to private sector retirement and health plans. Learn more about EBSA.

Case No. 19-0937-FH

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