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News Release

Federal Court Appoints Successor Fiduciary to Oversee Distribution Of $46,371 to Participants of Abandoned Profit Sharing Plan

WINSTON-SALEM, NC – The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina has appointed AMI Benefit Plan Administrators Inc. as the successor fiduciary for the James D. Blankenbeckler, DDS Profit Sharing Plan after the U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) found violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

The EBSA investigation determined that after the death of James D. Blankenbeckler in 2010, his daughter Emily Bivins was appointed the administrator of the estate and the plan. After failing to file sufficient annual accounting, public administrator Bryan Thompson replaced her. EBSA found the estate closed in 2016 without ensuring the appropriate distribution of all plan assets to the participants.

There are currently two remaining participants in the plan, which holds assets of $46,371.

"Fiduciaries and other public administrators have a firm responsibility to ensure that any employee who participated in a retirement or profit-sharing plan is compensated as the law requires," said Employee Benefits Security Administration Regional Director Isabel Colon, in Atlanta. "Simply abandoning a plan without distributing assets wrongly deprives participants of their earned investments. The U.S. Department of Labor will continue to investigate any action that threatens retirement benefits employees have earned."

Employers and employees can reach EBSA toll-free at 866-444-3272 for help with problems related to private sector retirement and health plans. Additional information can be found at

Employee Benefits Security Administration
October 17, 2018
Release Number
Media Contact: Eric R. Lucero
Phone Number
Media Contact: Michael D'Aquino