Compliance

Plan Administrator Steals Retirement Funds to Purchase Resort

By Rebecca Moore editors@plansponsor.com | May 16, 2012

May 16, 2012 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The U.S. Department of Labor has filed a complaint in a federal court in Idaho regarding a violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

The complaint alleges that, toward the end of 2010, Matthew D. Hutcheson used more than $3.2 million of the retirement plan savings of workers from multiple employers for his own personal expenses and in an attempt to purchase an interest in the Tamarack Resort–a failed ski and golf resort in Idaho. This prohibited transaction has left affected retirement plans with insufficient funds to pay participants all the benefits owed.    

Hutcheson also faces a separate criminal indictment in connection with the same transaction.  

The department seeks to remove Hutcheson and other named defendants as fiduciaries of the affected plans, and to appoint an independent fiduciary to administer them. In addition to Hutcheson, defendants include Hutcheson Walker Advisors LLC; Green Valley Holdings LLC; and the Retirement Security Plan and Trust, formerly known as the Pension Liquidity Plan and Trust.

Hutcheson has been indicted in another case involving theft from a retirement plan (see "Pension Fund Trustee Pleads Not Guilty to 31-Count Indictment").