The U.S. Dept. of Labor has obtained a consent judgment requiring National Football League player Michael Vick and his company, MV7 LLC, to repay at least $416,461 to a pension plan sponsored by the firm. The judgment also requires the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, who served a 23-month prison term and a more than two-year suspension from professional football for his involvement in a dog-fighting operation, to forfeit any rights to benefits from the plan.
The judgment permanently bars Vick and other defendants from serving as a fiduciary to any plan governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, requires him and the firm to pay all expenses associated with termination of the plan, and appoints an independent fiduciary to manage the plan until it is terminated.
Entered in federal district court in Newport News, Virginia, the judgment resolves a Labor Dept. lawsuit charging that Vick and others violated federal employee benefits law by making a series of prohibited transfers from a pension plan sponsored by MV7. The DoL alleged the player violated his duties as a plan trustee by making a series of prohibited transfers from the plan for his own benefit.
The plan assets were partly used to help pay the criminal restitution imposed upon Vick after his conviction for unlawful dog fighting, as well as his attorney in Vick’s bankruptcy cases, according to the complaint. From March 7, 2007, through July 7, 2008, Vick made and caused withdrawals from the retirement plan, the DoL had alleged.
MV7 was a celebrity marketing enterprise owned by Vick, who filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on July 7, 2008. The company sponsored a defined-benefit retirement plan for nine current and former employees as of October 2008.