Ira and Ingabord Rennert live in their home in Sagaponack on Long Island, reported to be the largest occupied single-family residence in the United States.
Ira Rennert tried to steal the pensions of his employees.
His private sector pension theft is one of those rare cases in which the employees won.
Rennert owns stuff eveywhere. He owns mines, steel mills and assembly lines as far away as Peru.
His home called Fair Field, the largest single-family home in the country, is estimated to be worth about a quarter of a billion dollars.
That happens to be more money than he tried to steal from the pensions of retired employees of one of his steel mills.
Usually when a private company forfeits on its pension obligations a government agency ends up paying the employees a few pennies on the dollar.
But for only the second time in 42 years the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation has said no.
Rennert’s Renco bought R.G. Steel in 2011.
It had a pension that was underfunded by nearly $70 million. In 2012, it was declared bankrupt.Shortly before the bankruptcy, Mr. Rennert’s company went looking for new financing for the subsidiary. The deal it eventually struck called for Cerberus, the private equity group, to buy a 24.5 percent equity stake in R. G. Steel.
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation said the deal was intended not to revive R. G. Steel but to reduce Renco’s ownership stake from 100 percent to less than 80 percent — the cutoff for being included in the so-called controlled group that is jointly responsible for pension obligations.
Ira may have to sell a few lamps from Fair Field to pay off the debt.