According to the allegations in the report, between Nov. 5, 2008, and June 10, 2009, “Keating caused Mitchellace to withhold $14,615.94 from employees’ pay in employee health premium contributions and failed to forward them to the Plan.” Instead, the money was retained in the company’s general funds.
Now the Department of Labor is asking the court to order Keating to “correct the prohibited transactions and make good to the Plan any losses, including lost interest, resulting from fiduciary breaches committed by him.”
The suit also seeks to permanently remove Keating from acting as a fiduciary or service provider with respect to any employee benefit plan subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
Mitchellace began making shoelaces in Portsmouth in 1903. Dave Mitchell took over the factory in 1912 and ran it for the next 50 years. Kerry Keating, husband of Dave Mitchell’s granddaughter, took over operations in 1962 after Dave Mitchell died. The firm bought the closed, six-story Williams Manufacturing building in 1979 and moved operations there from the old building just down the street. In 2003, Kerry Keating’s sons, Steve, Tom and Mitch, acquired control of the company.
Mitchellace began 2009 with about 80 employees. Nearly all of them had been furloughed by July 1, 2009, and later that month it was announced that locally owned Sole Choice Inc. had acquired all of the Mitchellace Inc. assets and assumed business functions in the building at 830 Murray St. in Portsmouth.
Keating is not associated with Sole Choice, and he now resides in Franklin County. He could not be reached for comment.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Keating filed for Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy in the Southern District of Ohio on April 12, 2010. The case is pending.
RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 235, or email@example.com.