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Former QB Vick Faces ERISA Lawsuit

March 26, 2009
Related Topics: Miscellaneous Legal Issues, Retirement/Pensions, Ethics, Latest News
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Former NFL quarterback Michael Vick faces a federal lawsuit from the Department of Labor claiming he made prohibited transfers from a defined-benefit plan sponsored by one of his companies, according to a DOL news release.

The DOL also filed a complaint in U.S. Bankruptcy Court seeking to block Vick from discharging the alleged debt to the retirement plan of MV7, a celebrity marketing firm that Vick owned, the news release said.

Vick is serving a federal prison sentence for dogfighting and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last year.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Newport News, Virginia, alleges that Vick violated his ERISA duties as trustee to the MV7 plan by making a series of prohibited transfers that resulted in $1.35 million in withdrawals from the plan from March 7, 2007, through July 7, 2008, the news release said.

“The plan assets were partially used to help pay the criminal restitution imposed upon [Mr.] Vick after his conviction for unlawful dogfighting as well as his attorney in the bankruptcy cases,” the news release said.

MV7 sponsored a plan for nine current and former employees as of October 2008, the news release said. The asset size of the plan could not immediately be learned.

This action sends a message that the Labor Department will not tolerate the misuse of plan money and will take whatever steps necessary to recover the assets owed to eligible workers,” Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis said in the release.

Filed by Doug Halonen of Pensions & Investments, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail editors@workforce.com.

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