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Feds sue RG Steel owner for $97M in pension funds

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WHEELING (AP) — An agency tasked with protecting retirees' pensions is suing the owner of bankrupt RG Steel.

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. is seeking $97 million in a federal court in New York to cover unfunded liabilities and plan contributions.

Renco Group allegedly dumped 24.5 percent of its ownership before the May 2012 bankruptcy, selling out to Cerberus Capital Management solely to avoid its pension obligations to more 1,350 retirees.

That cut Renco's ownership below the 80 percent threshold that makes it liable for the pensions under federal law.

Renco spokesman Andrew Shea tells the Wheeling News-Register the case is "baseless."

Renco formed RG in 2011, combining assets from the former Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel with Bethlehem Steel's former Sparrows Point mill in Baltimore and the former WCI Steel plant in Warren, Ohio.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.