Defunct Fresno firm ordered to restore $520K to retirement plan

A defunct Fresno-based construction company has been ordered to restore nearly $520,000 to its 401(k) profit-sharing plan following a judgment in federal court today.

Chief Judge Anthony W. Ishii at the U.S. District Court in Fresno made the order resolving a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor against Explore General Inc. and its former president and owner, Jaime Gonzalez.

According to the lawsuit, the company was required to pay its workers an hourly prevailing wage rate, including a fringe benefit for each participant in the form of contributions to the retirement plan when contracted to perform work on projects financed by government agencies.

The suit, filed in July 2010, goes on to say that Explore General failed to remit more than $300,000 to the plan between 2002 to 2005, choosing instead to use the money for general operating expenses.

In addition to that amount, Judge Ishii also ordered the company to restore lost earnings to the plan for a full amount of $519,601.

Explore General was established in Fresno in 1998. The company went out of business in 2010.

The Contractors State License Board now shows Gonzalez as the proprietor of Mission Construction in San Francisco.