EBSA sours on Sunkist’s retirement fund accounting

A U.S. Department of Labor Em­­ployee Benefit Security Admin­­is­­tra­­tion (EBSA) investigation has revealed that Sunkist Growers and its fiduciaries improperly used retirement plan funds to pay salaries and benefits for several employees and managers.

Additionally, the company reimbursed itself from the plan based on estimates rather than actual expenses. The estimates often exceeded actual expenses, but the company never restored the overpayments.

The Sherman Oaks citrus cooperative agreed to pay $1,620,420 to cover wrongful payments made from January 2006 to April 2011. The company must also appoint an independent fiduciary to oversee the plan.