Law Firm Continues Probes of Fiduciary Breaches

The law firm of Stember Feinstein Doyle&Payne, LLC , has turned its watchful eye to possible fiduciary misconduct at Fifth Third.

The law firm is investigating conduct causing losses to the Fifth Third Bancorp Master Profit Sharing Plan, the company’s 401(k) plan, which may have violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

The firm is probing whether certain fiduciaries of the plan knew or should have known that Fifth Third was not properly and timely disclosing its loan losses, which has caused losses to the company’s common stock.

Specifically, a release said, Stember Feinstein is investigating whether Fifth Third breached its fiduciary obligations by continuing to offer Fifth Third common stock as an investment option for participant contributions when it was imprudent to do so, and by failing to take action to sell Fifth Third stock or otherwise protect the plan assets in light of the deteriorating stock value.

In March, the firm announced an investigation into possible fiduciary breaches to the Bear Stearns Companies Inc. Employee Stock Ownership Plan, Profit Sharing Plan, and Deferred Compensation Plan (see Bear’s Ills Draw Company Stock “Investigation”). Since then, the law firm has announced similar investigations into plans sponsored by Wachovia (see Wachovia 401(k) Plan Under Investigation) and Marshall & Ilsley (see Law Firm Investigates Possible M&I Fiduciary Breach to Retirement Plan).