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In a settlement that apparently will be funded entirely by D&O insurance, the plaintiffs and 23 former executives of the failed Colonial Bank of Montgomery, Alabama have agreed to settle the class action securities lawsuit that investors filed in connection with the bank's 2009 collapse, for $10.5 million. The settlement does not resolve the plaintiffs' claims against the offering underwriter defendants nor does the settlement include the bank's former auditor. The settlement is subject to court approval. A copy of the parties' August 12, 2011 stipulation of settlement can be found here. The plaintiff's August 12, 2011 motion for settlement approval can be found here.
When Colonial Bank failed in August 2009, it was the sixth largest U.S. bank failure of all time (as discussed here). The bank, which had assets of $26 billion, was brought down in part due to its involvement in the mortgage securities fraud scheme involving mortgage originator Taylor Bean, as discussed in a recent post. The bank's holding company filed for bankruptcy shortly after the bank's closure.
As discussed here, the plaintiffs had actually filed their securities lawsuit in February 2009, prior to the bank's demise. The plaintiffs initially alleged that the defendants failed to disclose that "Colonial would be required to raise additional outside capital of $300 million before it could receive the $550 million in TARP funding." The complaint further alleges that Colonial "belatedly disclosed" this requirement, its share price plunged. The plaintiffs' 334-page consolidated amended complaint (here) contains significantly broader allegations and contends that the defendants engaged in a broad, multipart fraudulent scheme that led to the bank's collapse.
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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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