Richard Thomas embezzled nearly $20,000,000 from his employer. The employer then kept Thomas’s profit sharing account of about $21,000 as an offset against the embezzled amount. Of course, this violated ERISA’s anti-alienation provisions. Thomas sued his former employer for the money and won. Although this case involves a qualified retirement plan, a similar principle generally applies to welfare benefit plans in that an employer should not withhold claim or other ERISA payments (e.g., MLR rebates) owed to a participant to offset amounts owed by the participant to the employer. Read the full story.