Investor Says Bank Execs Rolled Him
(CN) - Officers of Florida's failed Sterling Bank used a man's $2 million deposit for a fraudulent stock scheme "to save their own jobs and income stream," the man claims in court.
Ted Doukas sued nine of Sterling's former officers in Palm Beach County Court. The bank was closed by state regulators in 2010.
Doukas claims he deposited $2 million in the bank as a favor, so it could show regulators it had sufficient capital. He claims he never agreed to buy the bank's stock.
He claims the defendants used his money to buy bank shares without his knowledge, sent him backdated stock certificates, and that he lost it all when the bank collapsed.
Doukas says in the lawsuit that after he received the stock certificates, he sent a letter to the bank, stating: "I never requested any stock nor would I ever accept any stock from Sterling Bank Group. (sic) I sent you $1.7M which was part of the consideration for a Promissory Note dated June 21, 2009 ... I was lending you money so that you could show the regulators additional capital which was required." (Ellipsis and parentheses in complaint.)
Doukas claims the bank never responded.
He claims he "never received the return of the funds allegedly used to purchase Sterling Holdings stock. Doukas was never provided a copy of the PPM [Private Placement Memorandum] and the entire 'purchase' of the stock was fabricated by the defendants in an effort to save Sterling Bank and to save their own jobs and income stream."
Doukas says that even had he intended to buy the stock, which he did not, the offering misrepresented how much money the bank was trying to raise and falsely claimed that "the current Board of Directors and employees would be subscribing for the entire offering of $12,600,000."
He claims that no Sterling officer, director or employee purchased any stock.
"Doukas was the largest shareholder - and perhaps the only person - who 'subscribed' for Sterling Holdings stock," according to the complaint.
"The entire PPM was a scam organized by the above-named defendants (acting together) to perpetrate a fraud on Doukas." (Parentheses in complaint.)
Former officers named as defendants are David Albright, Dan Callanan, Peter M. Clarkson, Tom Copulos, Daniel Economos, Thomas A. Vogel, Alexandra Yessios, R. Moyle Fritz Jr. and Linda Eppenga.
Doukas says his stock is worthless. He wants his money back, and damages for conspiracy and violations of Florida securities laws.
He is represented by Robert Gershman of Delray Beach.