AME Church Pension Plan Lawsuit
In the Fall of 2021, more than 5,000 current and retired clergy and other employees of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church learned that at least $90 million in pension plan assets had been lost due to gross mismanagement and lack of oversight by the AME Church and Church fiduciaries and outside entities.
Kantor & Kantor, joined by the AARP Legal Foundation, filed suit against the AME Church and other responsible parties in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland on Behalf of Presiding Elder Cedric V. Alexander after Elder Alexander, who had just retired, had his retirement account frozen.
Five other suits were filed on behalf of other clergy members. The cases were eventually consolidated as a multi-district litigation matter in the Western District of Tennessee. The 17-count amended consolidated complaint, brought as a class action, alleges state law claims for fiduciary breach, breach of trust, negligence, conversion, fraud, breach of contract, and conspiracy, among other violations of state law.
The suit seeks damages, including punitive and emotional harm damages and other legal, equitable, and injunctive relief to make the clergy members and other AME Church employees whole, to recover plan assets that were improperly diverted, and to ensure that the retirement assets are protected, and managed properly into the future. On March 17, 2023, the Court issued a ruling denying most of Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss. Read the Order on Motions to Dismiss Consolidated Amended Complaint.
This case will be updated to reflect important developments in the case.