Baton Rouge firm Thinkstream ordered to repay more than $126K to its 401(k) plan for employees

    A Baton Rouge-based company that provides criminal database software to law enforcement agencies across the country and is now facing involuntary bankruptcy proceedings was forced last year to repay more than $126,000 to its 401(k) plan for employees.

    According to a signed consent decree in Baton Rouge federal court, the U.S. Department of Labor discovered that Thinkstream withheld contributions from participating employees’ wages but did not deposit the money into the retirement plan “timely and completely,” causing the plan to sustain losses. Total losses were more than $81,047, according to the Department of Labor, and “lost opportunity” costs totaled more than $45,584.

    Thinkstream was ordered to make installment payments through Dec. 31, 2014. The case has since been closed.

    The agreement reached with the Department of Labor barred president and CEO Barry Bellue from obtaining distributions from his own 401(k) until he had made full restitution. Bellue also was required to attend eight hours of fiduciary responsibility training and was permanently prohibited from acting as a fiduciary, trustee, agent or representative of any other employee benefit plan covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. Thinkstream also was required to pay a $25,326 penalty to the Department of Labor.

    As Daily Report reported last week, creditors who claim they are owed nearly $10 million alleged in Baton Rouge federal bankruptcy court that Thinkstream has not paid payroll taxes in several months and two of its top executives have left the company. Additionally, an insurance policy protecting directors and officers from liability allegedly expired in April.

    The creditors include Folsom-based investment firm TSB Ventures and six other investors who are trying to force Thinkstream into Chapter 11 bankruptcy to reorganize the company.

    Thinkstream provides software to law enforcement and other public agencies in six states, including nearly 300 entities in Louisiana. Federal agencies include the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Coast Guard, U.S. Marshal, U.S. Probation Office and Office of the Inspector General, among others. Locally, Thinkstream’s software is used by the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, the First Circuit Court of Appeal, the Louisiana Inspector General, the Louisiana Attorney General and other agencies.

    Read the consent judgment.

    —Penny Font

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