A federal jury on Monday ruled in Fort Lauderdale banker Alan Levan's favor on all claims filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The SEC alleged Levan had misled investors about the health of certain real estate loans in Fort Lauderdale-based BankAtlantic's portfolio leading into the recession. The agency also claimed Levan's company BBX Capital Corp., which sold the bank in 2012, failed to properly account for loans in public disclosures.
It was the second SEC trial for BBX and Levan on the same claims. The first trial in 2014 ended with some jury findings against the defendants, a temporary ban on Levan running a public company and millions of dollars in fines. The appellate court overturned some pretrial rulings and sent the case back for another six-week trial in Miami before U.S. District Judge Darrin Gayles.
Levan and BBX also settled an earlier case brought by shareholders.
"I am pleased this regrettable nine-year ordeal is finally over and has ended in complete exoneration," Levan said in a statement. "This frivolous action by the SEC was clearly motivated either by incompetence or by malicious self-interest so the agency could say it did something to somebody other than watch the banking system collapse under its nose. I am ready to move on and build on the considerable success we have enjoyed at BBX Capital, which has prospered despite the unfair and unwarranted burden imposed on us by this SEC witch hunt."
Monday, May 08, 2017
Victory for BBX, Alan Levan and Gene Stearns
Trial #2 goes to Bank Atlantic, Alan Levan and their lawyer Gene Stearns. A really big win for them over the SEC. From the DBR: