DOL Challenges Rochester Investment Adviser on Fees

The U.S. Labor Department filed a complaint against a Rochester, New York, investment adviser and plan administrator to recover losses suffered as result of alleged fiduciary breaches.

The Department of Labor says the Roger Ramsay and Compensation Planning Corp. of Rochester Inc. collected fees that were not properly disclosed or authorized, according to an Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) investigation.

A statement from the DOL says Roger Ramsay provided investment advisory services as a fiduciary to any least nine employee benefit plans covered under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Ramsay provided the services through SAR Services, Inc., a company he owned and operated, and he was also the sole owner and president of Compensation Planning Corp. of Rochester Inc., a third-party administrator to the plans.

DOL says the EBSA investigation found that from at least 2006 through 2011, Ramsay caused himself or his companies to be paid certain commissions and fees, the amounts of which were not properly disclosed to or specifically authorized by the plans or independent fiduciaries. Ramsay also failed to use all fees he received to offset fees that the plans otherwise would have had to pay, and instead used his fiduciary authority as investment adviser to cause the plans to remain invested in a higher fee fund class when the same fund portfolio was available in a lower fee class.

By these actions, EBSA says Ramsay breached his fiduciary responsibilities under ERISA and caused the plans to suffer financial losses for which he was liable, DOL concludes. 

In its complaint, the DOL asks the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York to require the defendants to correct the prohibited transactions; restore to the plans all losses, plus interest; disgorge any and all plan assets obtained; disgorge any and all enrichment resulting from the breaches; permanently enjoin the defendants from future ERISA violations; and permanently prohibit the defendants from serving as fiduciaries or service providers to any ERISA-covered employee pension or benefit plan.

Ramsey was not immediately available to comment on the complaint, filed under docket number 14-CV-01088.