FDIC Pursues Litigation Against Failed Banks - Slowly

The FDIC's pursuit of litigation against directors and officers of banks that have failed as part of the current round of bank failures has been moving forward, albeit at a deliberate pace. The agency's litigation efforts advanced a couple of steps in recent days, as the agency filed an additional lawsuit and publicly announced that even more are coming.

The FDIC filed its latest lawsuit on May 5, 2011 in the Northern District of Illinois. The lawsuit was filed against certain former directors and offices of Wheatland Bank of Napierville, Illinois, of which the FDIC took control on April 23, 2010 (about which refer here). The actual lawsuit in which the FDIC filed its complaint had begun as a shareholders' derivative lawsuit in Cook County (Illinois) Circuit Court. The FDIC had removed the lawsuit to federal court (refer here) and on May 5, 2011, the federal court granted the FDIC's motion to intervene as a party plaintiff and to filed its amended complaint.

In its complaint (a copy of which can be found here), the FDIC seeks to recover at least $22 million that the bank allegedly sustained in connection with commercial real estate loans (CRE). The complaint asserts claims for gross negligence, negligence, breach of the fiduciary duty of care, breach of the fiduciary duty of loyalty, and failure to supervise. The 6 individual defendants include four directors (two of whom who were also officers of the bank and two of whom were nonofficer directors who served on the loan committee), as well as the bank's chief lending officer and its chief financial officer.  

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Read other items of interest from the world of directors & officers liability, with occasional commentary, at the D&O Diary, a blog by Kevin LaCroix.

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