Venture Financial Group, Inc.

DEFENDANT NAME: Venture Financial Group, Inc.
STOCK SYMBOL:
CASE NUMBER: 09-CV-05768
CASE NAME:
COURT: U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
PRACTICE AREA: Investor Fraud, Pension Protection
STATUS: Settled
CLASS PERIOD:
LEAD PLAINTIFF DEADLINE:
DATE FILED: 12/16/09
COURT LOCATION:

Following the collapse of Venture Bank, participants of the bank's retirement plans have filed a class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Western Washington, and are seeking restitution for significant financial losses when their large holdings of company stock became worthless in September of this year.

The complaint, filed on behalf of employees who invested in retirement funds by Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, indicated that Venture Bank engaged in a number of large, high-risk and inappropriate investment practices. These negligent practices plummeted employee retirement plans sponsored by Venture Financial Group, Inc. (VFGI) and ultimately caused the bank to collapse.

Venture Bank's reckless investments in high-risk securities combined with its hazardous lending practices produced more than $200 million in negative assets for the bank and exposed retirement plans to huge losses totaling more than $12 million.

Most participants of the bank's retirement plans were unable to rid themselves of the company stock that represented such a large portion of their overall savings. Once valued at $18 per share, the company's stock dropped to just 25 cents a share at the end of 2008.

Washington Department of Financial Institutions closed Venture Bank in September 2009. The bank was then turned over to FDIC, who sold substantially all monetary assets of Venture Bank to First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company, leaving the company stock in VFGI's retirement plans at a complete loss.

The lawsuit seeks to represent all VFGI retirement plan participants who held Company Stock in the plans at any point in the period from January 1, 2008 until September 11, 2009.


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07/05/11: Settlement Information

Venture Financial Group, Inc. reached a proposed preliminary settlement with employees who participated in the Company’s Employee Stock Purchase Plan and Trust and/or the Venture Financial Group, Inc. KSOP at any time between January 1, 2008 and September 11, 2009.

The proposed settlement is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington before the Honorable Benjamin Settle. The Court has granted preliminarily approval, and a fairness hearing is scheduled on Monday, April 25, 2011.

The terms of the settlement are contained in the Class Action Settlement Agreement, or plan participants can contact Plaintiffs’ Class Counsel: Andrew Volk or Genessa Stout, Hagens Berman by phone at (888) 381-2889 or via email at venture@hbsslaw.com.

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