EBSA News Release: [09/30/2009]
Contact Name: Gloria Della
Phone Number: (202) 693-8664
Release Number: 09-1133-PHI
U.S. Labor Department obtains judgment with NFL player and his company, restoring more than $400,000 in pension assets
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. The U.S. Department of Labor has obtained a consent judgment requiring NFL player Michael D. Vick and his company, MV7 LLC, to repay at least $416,461.10 in restitution to a pension plan sponsored by the company and ordering Vick to forfeit any rights to benefits from the plan. The defendants also agreed to pay a civil monetary penalty imposed by the Labor Department.
The judgment permanently bars the defendants from serving in a fiduciary capacity to any plan governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, requires them to pay all expenses associated with termination of the plan and appoints an independent fiduciary to manage the plan until it is terminated.
"Corporations and executives who are plan fiduciaries have a duty to protect the pension assets of participants," said Phyllis C. Borzi, assistant secretary for the Labor Department's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA). "Our legal action ensures that these participants will get the plan assets owed to them."
Entered in federal district court in Newport News, the judgment resolves a Labor Department lawsuit alleging that NFL player Michael Vick and others violated federal employee benefits law by making a series of prohibited transfers from a pension plan sponsored by MV7 LLC. Vick allegedly violated his duties as a plan trustee by making a series of prohibited transfers from the plan for his own benefit. The complaint alleged that the plan assets were partially used to help pay the criminal restitution imposed upon Vick after his conviction for unlawful dog fighting as well as his attorney in the bankruptcy cases. From March 7, 2007, through July 7, 2008, Vick made and caused withdrawals from the retirement plan.
MV7 LLV was a celebrity marketing enterprise owned by Vick, who filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy July 7, 2008. The company sponsored a defined benefit retirement plan for nine current and former employees as of October 2008.
Employers and workers can reach EBSA's Washington District Office at 202-693-8700 or toll-free at 866-444-3272 for help with problems relating to retirement and health benefits. In fiscal year 2008, EBSA achieved monetary results of $1.2 billion related to the pension, 401(k), health and other benefits for millions of American workers and their families.
Solis v. Vick
Civil Action Number 4:09CV37