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Plaintiffs Drop Claims Against Matrix in TPA Suit

Two plaintiffs in a class action suit against third-party administrator Vantage Benefits and custodian Matrix Trust company have voluntarily dismissed without prejudice their lawsuit against the latter.

The two plaintiffs, who are Texas A&M University retirees, voluntarily dismissed their complaint against Matrix on Nov. 16 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado “without prejudice, with each party to bear its own costs, attorneys’ fees, and expenses.”

The suit, filed by plaintiffs Dave Youngblood (a 403(b) Plan Accountholder with the Texas A&M University System Tax Deferred Account Plan) and Don Steinbach (also a 403(b) Plan Accountholder with the Texas A&M Plan) on behalf of themselves “and other § 403(b) retirement plan accountholders… whose § 403(b) investments were managed by Matrix Trust Company…” had in July alleged that, from approximately May to October 2017, “Matrix made several substantial transfers of § 403(b) plan assets directly to Vantage Benefits Administrators, per Vantage’s directions for same, without direction or authorization from the § 403(b) plan administrators or accountholders.”

Second ‘Class’

While the dismissal draws to an end that class action, another one – filed by MBA Engineering Inc. last December – had accused Vantage Benefits Administrators, Inc., Vantage CEO Jeffrey A. Richie and Vantage CFO Wendy K. Richie of stealing approximately $2,269,653.43 from the company’s retirement plans between June 3, 2016 and June 7, 2017, and since prior to those transfers, the plans’ total combined balance was approximately $2.5 million, “…the Vantage Defendants’ scheme was simply catastrophic to the Plans and the participants’ retirement savings.”

The MBA suit outlined a scheme whereby Vantage directed Matrix Trust Company to make a series of transfers from the plan trust accounts to an account maintained by Vantage at Bank of America “without any authorization or direction from MBA, as the plan sponsor and the plan administrator.” MBA added Matrix Trust as a party to the suit in March.

MBA’s suit followed an Oct. 31, 2017 raid by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on the offices of Vantage Benefits Administrators “amid concerns that money may be missing from retirement accounts the company manages.”