(BIRMINGHAM, Alabama January 10, 2023) – Fob James Law Firm is announcing a nationwide class action lawsuit filed on behalf of government employees with deferred compensation plans and private IRA account holders against Empower Retirement, the second largest retirement plan administrator in the country. The complaint, which was filed by the Southeast-based trial firms Caplan Cobb, Foster Law and Fob James Law Firm in the United States District Court of Colorado, alleges that Empower is committing rampant fraud and breaching fiduciary duties in connection with the sales tactics used by its Series 65/66 investment advisers to induce clients to enroll in the “Managed Account” (a higher fee discretionary trading account managed by Empower).
The lawsuit alleges that Empower’s investment advisors intentionally fail to disclose they receive financial compensation for enrolling clients in the Managed Account. On information and belief, Empower also trains its investment advisers to pinpoint clients’ “pain points” or “landmines” during consultations for the purpose of using that information to present the Managed Account as the solution to the clients’ concerns. And to top it off, Empower allegedly fails to disclose that the only investment its investment advisers are authorized to recommend is the Managed Account. This, despite the fact that Empower and its registered investment advisers owe clients fiduciary duties, including the duty to act in the client’s best interest and to disclose conflicts of interest.
The class representative in the lawsuit is Evelyn Birchfield, a retired state of Alabama employee who transferred assets in her deferred compensation retirement account to Empower’s Managed Account after a “consultation” with an Empower registered investment advisor.
Fob James, IV, one of the counsel for Ms. Birchfield and the proposed class says, “The class members in this case are hardworking men and women that are saving money for retirement. Under the Investment Advisers Act, Empower’s investment advisers owed class members fiduciary duties, including the duty to act in the clients’ best interest and disclose conflicts. Empower did neither. Instead, Empower’s investment advisers misrepresented and suppressed material information at the direction of Empower for the purpose of inducing class members to enroll in the higher fee Managed Account. The advisers’ so-called investment recommendation was in the best interest of Empower’s bottom line and not the clients. This should have never happened.”
Fob James Law Firm is committed to representing victims of fraud in courtrooms across the country. For more information, please contact Fob James Law Firm.