How can I stop my company’s fishy 401(k) transactions?

March 10, 2004

Subject:   eso
Date:   Fri, 05 Mar 2004
From:   Dawn

Dear Mr. Gray,

I work for an “employee owned” company (12,000). Employees are given a % of stock from profits for each year they are employed. After being there for 16 years, the company decided to buy back a % of all shares (at a $3.00 increase) and add it to our 401K portfolio. They said to treat it as if the shares had never been issued. Also… we have never had a legal “certificate” stating that we owned shares. The company combined our 401K with our Company Stock about 5 years ago and the owner of the company was the administrator of it all until he passed away a year ago. I have sensed something fishy going on for a long time and when questioning VP’s about the loss of a large sum of 401K… I was given the run around. Everyone is fearful to cause trouble and lose their jobs by saying anything.

Any recommendations?


Date:   Thu, 04 Mar 2004

Hello Dawn,

You should see a lawyer about this situation immediately. Remember what happened to the employees at Enron? They lost their life savings. You have 15 years invested in this company, and should act assertively to protect your investment. If your company is actually “employee owned,” the employees should be able to act together to protect themselves.

Good luck!

Mike Gray

For more answers to our readers’ questions and to learn about new tax developments relating to employee stock options, subscribe to our newsletter, Michael Gray, CPA’s Option Alert!

Comments are closed.