US alleges fraud in Friendly’s case

Officials say owner Sun Capital hid pension assets to maintain control

A federal agency that insures company pension plans is accusing Sun Capital Partners, the owner of Friendly Ice Cream Corp., of fraudulently moving assets so that its affiliates could retain control of the Wilbraham business and avoid paying retirement benefits to nearly 6,000 workers and retirees.

Sun Capital Partners, a Florida private equity firm, illegally transferred assets from the ice cream chain and its parent company responsible for the pension plans to another Sun affiliate shortly before the October bankruptcy filing, according to allegations in court records filed by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.

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