U.S. sues Windjammer over 401(k)
South Florida Business Journal
Date: Wednesday, November 17, 2010, 2:10pm EST
The U.S. Department of Labor has sued the defunct Windjammer Barefoot Cruises and its fiduciaries to restore $24,655 to the company's 401(k) retirement plan.
The British Virgin Islands-based cruise line folded in 2007 after several years of providing unstructured cruises on tall ships. By 2008, complaints, legal judgments and claims against Windjammer piled up in local courts.
The new federal lawsuit follows a Labor Department investigation into alleged violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. The department sued the company, the Burke Family Trust that owns it, and three people: Daniel Walsh, Windjammer vice president; Stephen Pallister, protector of the trust; and David Harris, director of Bujika Ltd. and trustee of the trust.
The suit alleges that the defendants withheld employee contributions and employee loan payments owed to the plan in 2006 and 2007. It also alleges that additional interest and other accruals were lost.
The cruise line had a big presence in South Florida, with offices in South Beach, and the homes of several of its owners – the family of founder Michael Burke Sr. – scattered throughout the region.
The company's major assets, sailing ships, were held at foreign ports when the company collapsed.
Some of the company’s ownership was based offshore. Most passengers flew to foreign ports such as Grenada to start their cruise.http://www.bizjournals.com/southflorida ... a=e_du_pub
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