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SEC wants depositors in bank conversion subpoenaed
BOSTON (12/12/07)--The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is seeking subpoenas on 14 depositors of New Haven Savings Bank, now called NewAlliance Bancshares, to investigate a possible fraud scheme. The SEC announced Friday that it had filed an application in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut for orders to enforce investigative subpoenas served on: Charles Agapiou, John Agapiou, Asimina Antonellis, Charles Artese, Rose Ercolano, Evangelos Hadjimichael, Karen Kerames, Elene Koutroumanis, Kelli Pappas, Kristine Pappas, Marie Sagnella, Rita Santini, Peter Spalthoff and Corinne Tsakonas, all of Connecticut. Each was a depositor of New Haven Savings Bank, based in New Haven, Conn. The SEC’s papers allege that the commission has been investigating whether certain individuals or entities used depositors who were eligible to purchase NewAlliance stock at the time that the bank converted from mutual to stock organization form as nominees to enable such individuals or entities to participate in the conversion. The SEC also alleges that the depositors purchased shares of NewAlliance in its initial public offering with funds provided by Old Financial LLC, a North Dakota limited liability company. The SEC has been cracking down on fraud involving banks that convert from mutual savings to stock ownerships. In May, the SEC settled civil charges with four individuals involved with a 10-year scheme that swindled mutual savings banks and their depositors when the banks converted to stock ownership. A number of former credit unions were among the institutions affected (News Now May 18). Those credit unions included:
* Viewpoint Financial Group (formerly Community CU, Plano, Texas); * Heritage Financial Group (formerly AGE FCU, Albany, Ga.); * Atlantic Coast Federal Corp. (formerly Atlantic Coast FCU, Waycross, Ga.); * K-Fed Bancorp (formerly Kaiser Permanent Employees FCU, Covina, Calif.); * Rainier Pacific Financial Group (formerly Rainier Pacific CU, Fife, Wash.); * Synergy Financial Group Inc. (formerly Synergy FCU, Crandon, N.J.); * First Pactrust Bancorp Inc. (formerly Pacific First FCU, Chula Vista, Calif.); and * Jade Financial (formerly IGA FCU, Philadelphia).
News Now also reported in September that a group of investors at First Pactrust Bancorp Inc., Synergy Financial Group Inc., Rainier Pacific Financial Group, and Citizens Community Bancorp Inc. agreed to pay nearly $3 million of the amount they gained after the institutions converted (Sept. 26).


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