The US Department of Labor (DOL) announced recently that it has filed suit against former National Football League (NFL) player Michael Vick. Vick, who formerly played for the Atlanta Falcons, is scheduled to be released in May from a Kansas prison. The suit alleges, “Vick and others violated federal employee benefits law by making a series of prohibited transfers from a pension plan sponsored by one of his companies. The [DOL] also simultaneously filed an adversary complaint in federal bankruptcy court to prevent Vick from discharging his alleged debt to the MV7 retirement plan.”
Vick, who previously filed for bankruptcy, owned MV7, a celebrity marketing enterprise. MV7 sponsored a defined benefit plan for current and former employees.
Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis, said, “This action sends a message that the [DOL] will not tolerate the misuse of plan money and will take whatever steps necessary to recover the assets owed to eligible workers.”
The suit alleges that Vick, a star at Virginia Tech before joining the NFL, made $1.35 million in prohibited transfers from the plan in violation of his duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act or ERISA. The money was allegedly “used to help pay the criminal restitution imposed upon Vick after his conviction for unlawful dog fighting as well as his attorney in the bankruptcy cases.”
Contact Vision Payroll if you have any questions on this matter.