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Investors Call Legacy Bank a Swindle

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (CN) - After using lies and misrepresentations to con people for $1.3 million, allegedly to be used to start up Legacy Bank, a group of men had the brass to threaten to sue the investors, demanding another $1 million from them, nine investors claim in Mecklenburg County Court. The corporate defendants are Alliance Capital Group, Silverton Bank, Legacy Bank, and Commerce Street Capital.

Also sued are Legacy Bank CEO Alfonzo Bush, Legacy CFO Horacio Barakat, Legacy Chairman of the Board Bridget Ann Hampden, and Silverton Bank vice president C.J. Pruitt.

The investors claim the defendants made a string of lies and misrepresentations in pushing the Legacy Bank shares, and say Silverton, which promoted itself as "a bank for banks," has threatened to sue them for another $1 million.

Barakat and Bush are both former employees of Wachovia Securities, and falsely claimed that company was putting $10 million to $12 million into the Legacy Bank, according to the complaint. Hampden also was a former Wachovia Corp. employee and went along with the misrepresentations, the complaint states.

Plaintiffs seek rescission and punitive damages for common law fraud, securities fraud, breach of contract, breach of trust and other violations. They are represented by Bruce Simpson with James, McElroy & Deal.

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