DoL Investigating Missing Contributions to Health Clinic 403(b)

February 15, 2011 ( - The U.S. Department of Labor has opened an inquiry into the employee retirement plan of a taxpayer-funded mental health clinic in Baltimore.

The government has requested documents relating to the 403(b) plan sponsored by Baltimore Behavioral Health Inc., according to two certified letters obtained by The Baltimore Sun.   

The Sun reports that the federal inquiry began around two weeks after it reported December 10 that two former employees at the non-profit West Pratt Street clinic had discovered unexplained shortfalls in its retirement accounts. Both said only a small fraction of money deferred from their paychecks reached their 403(b) plan accounts going back to October 2009.   

According to the Sun, Nicole Bradley, the federal official handling the inquiry, has requested payroll and financial documents in a pair of letters sent to the West Pratt Street clinic, including one dated February 1 explaining that “other participants” in the clinic’s retirement plan have contacted her office.  

In Bradley’s initial December 27 letter to Baltimore Behavioral Health, she noted that 403(b) payroll deductions must be transferred to employee retirement accounts within seven business days for plans with under 100 participants and, for larger plans, by the 15th business day of the month after the contribution was received.  

BBH’s CEO as well as two board members have not responded to messages left by the Sun. However, Lincoln Financial Group, which administers BBH’s 403(b) plan, said all money it received from the non-profit went into employee accounts.