Venture Financial Group, Inc.
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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