The U.S. Department of Labor has obtained a consent judgment barring the purported financial adviser to National Football League (NFL) player Michael D. Vick and his company, MV7 LLC, from serving in a fiduciary capacity to any employee benefit plan governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
The department sued financial advisers Mary Wong and David Talbot for allegedly participating in some of the prohibited transfers from a pension plan sponsored by one of Vick’s companies. Vick, who earlier agreed to a consent judgment (see “Vick to Turn Over $400K to DoL”), was alleged to have made prohibited transfers from the plan for his own benefit. The plan’s assets allegedly were partially used to help pay Vick’s criminal restitution after his conviction for unlawful dog fighting and to help pay his attorney in his bankruptcy cases. Vick filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on July 7, 2008 (see “Michael Vick Sued for Prohibited Pension Transfers”).
According to the DoL, the judgment permanently bars Wong from serving in a fiduciary capacity to any plan governed by ERISA. In a separate court judgment, Talbot was ordered to restore $369,431.71 to the plan and was barred from serving in a fiduciary capacity to any plan in the future.
“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 this adviser will never deal with the assets of employee benefit plans in the future.”
MV7 LLC was a celebrity marketing enterprise owned by Vick. The company sponsored a defined benefit retirement plan for nine current and former employees as of October 2008, the latest data available.
Earlier this year, Wong was also charged with operating a Ponzi scheme (“Former Vick Adviser Charged with Ponzi Scheme”).