COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Two former A&M faculty members have filed a class action lawsuit against Matrix Trust Company, claiming the company didn’t properly watch over their retirement savings and allowed Vantage Benefits Administrators, a third company, to defraud them.
The suit was filed in a Denver Federal court on June 27th , naming Dave Youngblood and Don Steinbach as the lead plaintiffs of the class action. It alleges that Matrix had a duty as a financial “trustee” to watch over Vantage’s transactions. The suit claims that, by failing in their duty, Matrix allowed Vantage to steal tens of millions of dollars.
In 2017, the FBI raided Vantage after claims the firm had embezzled millions in retirement that it was said to be investing and/or managing.
“Almost over two million dollars was taken from Texas A&M retirees accounts,” says Bruce Steckler, a lawyer representing the plaintiffs in this class action.
Steckler also claims that if Matrix had fulfilled its fiduciary responsibility to the retirees whose accounts it helps manage, the money would still be there.
“If they’re doing their job, this never would have happened,” he said. “It’s that simple.”
Matrix disagrees. They say the company was contracted by Vantage to serve as a “custodian” on these retirement accounts. Vantage was hired by Texas A&M as an optional vender employees could chose to manage their savings.
According to Matrix, their role was merely to hold some of the saved funds and to transfer funds when directed by Vantage.
As a financial custodian, Matrix says they don’t have the same fiduciary responsibility as a trustee. Therefore, Matrix claims it was under no legal obligation to keep tabs on how Vantage was investing or managing the retirement savings.