It didn’t take long for the first decision in a lawsuit against vantage Benefits and its owners when they defaulted.
A default judgment was handed down by Judge David C. Godbey of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in the Caldwell and Partners Inc. v. Vantage Benefits Administrators case. The court held Vantage Benefits Administrators, Inc. and its CEO Jeffrey A. Richie liable for $10,170,452 in damages, plus $297,836 in attorneys’ fees and costs for violating ERISA by allegedly embezzling plan assets.
The suit claimed that plan assets were transferred by Vantage by directing Matrix to transfer plan assets to Vantage’s operating accounts.
Vantage and Richie didn’t contest the case in court as Vantage was shut down by the FBI and he remains under investigation by the Department of Labor.
From experience, I know how it’s almost impossible to collect on a default judgment as I have one against a former client of mine that still remains in business as an Atlanta area third party administration firm. You should assume that Caldwell and Partners will seek redress against Matrix, but that will likely be through mandatory arbitration.