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News Release

Pensacola Doctors Ordered To Repay Profit Sharing Plan Of Practice

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Two Pensacola doctors agreed to repay $190,000 to the profit sharing plan of the medical practice owned by them under separate settlements reached with the U.S. Department of Labor. The money represents losses to plan participants other than themselves which resulted from prohibited loans made to a local sports partnership.

Drs. Stricker C. Mays and Emilio A. Antonetti, equal partners in the practice and trustees of the plan, also were barred permanently from serving in any position of trust to any employee benefit plan covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)

The defendants agreed to restore losses by making cash payments or waiving their right to benefits under the plan and re-distributing the money to the accounts of the plan participants other than themselves. The plan had 13 participants and $668,548 in assets as of Dec. 31, 1997.

The department’s lawsuit also simultaneously sued the defendants, their practice and the plan for allegedly loaning $117,761 from their participants’ individual plan accounts and $2,239 from the plan’s general assets to Pensacola Soccer Complex, Ltd.(PSC), a limited partnership formed by Hartwig, Matteson & Mays, Inc., in which Dr. Mays was a limited partner and officer.

As part of its lawsuit, the department alleged that Dr. Mays called a meeting of plan participants in April 1995, advising them their investments were not doing well and that the plan had been changed to allow participants to direct their investments. Then, he allegedly met with participants one-on-one, eventually persuading 12 of the plan participants to sign a form indicating what amount they wanted to invest in the soccer partnership.

While the soccer complex — which is no longer in existence — was under construction in the fall of 1995, two hurricanes swept the area, causing damages between $500,000 and $600,000, and the soccer partnership did not have adequate hazard insurance to cover the losses.
“Our goal is to protect the benefits promised to workers by their employers and to let them know that the department is only a phone call away to help them,” said Howard Marsh, director of the Labor Department’s
Atlanta Regional Office of the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration. “Employers and workers can reach us at (404) 562-2156 in Atlanta for help with any problems relating to private-sector pension and health plans.”

The consent orders/settlements, resulting from an investigation conducted by the department’s Atlanta Regional Office of the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration, which enforces ERISA, were entered March 22 in federal district court in Pensacola.

(Herman v. Stricker C. Mays, M.D. and Emilio N. Antonetti, M.D.)
Civil Action # 3:00 CV 100 RV

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Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Employee Benefits Security Administration
March 27, 2000
Release Number
00 - 59