SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Department of Labor has obtained a default judgment against Paul G. Fillet DMD Inc. and Dr. Paul G. Fillet for having unlawfully withdrawn more than $85,000 of employees’ retirement money from an employer-sponsored plan and abandoned the plan, preventing two participants from accessing roughly $160,000 in retirement savings.The Regional Solicitor of Labor in San Francisco filed a complaint Jan. 12, 2023 after an investigation by the department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration found that Fillet withdrew over $85,000 from the retirement plan and used it for non-plan purposes, a violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued a default judgment against Fillet and his practice on Jan. 2, 2024 and appointed AMI Benefit Plan Administrators Inc. of Youngstown, Ohio, to serve as the independent third-party fiduciary for the retirement plan.Under the judgement, the court permanently enjoined Fillet from serving as a fiduciary of any ERISA-covered employee benefit plan. Fillet and his business were also found liable for $85,260 in losses to the retirement plan resulting from their fiduciary breaches, $14,891 in lost opportunity income to the plan and $1,685 for the independent fiduciary costs and fees. Furthermore, the court ordered Fillet and his practice to restore these funds and any interest accrued to the retirement plan by March 4, 2024. To date, Fillet has not been responsive to EBSA’s efforts to contact him. Anyone with knowledge of his whereabouts can contact EBSA’s regional office in San Francisco at 415-625-2481.Investigators found that in or around April 2020, Fillet’s practice went out of business and did not distribute the remaining assets of the retirement plan, abandoning the plan in violation of the law. EBSA determined that Fillet was the sole trustee with signatory authority over participant distributions. “Paul G. Fillet failed to uphold his legal obligation to administer employees’ retirement plan assets and continues to evade his responsibilities to his workers under the law,” said Employee Benefits Security Administration Regional Director Klaus Placke in San Francisco. “Employees expected that their retirement funds were protected, only to discover they had no way to recover them.”ERISA requires that fiduciaries operate employee benefit plans solely in the interest of participants and beneficiaries. Employers and workers, including potential participants related to this San Ramon-based company plan, can reach EBSA toll-free at 866-444-3272 for help with problems related to private sector retirement and health plans. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *