A recent guilty plea to charges of securities fraud by LA financier Jason Galanis triggered an SEC investigation into the Banc of California. CEO Steven Sugarman resigned last month as the bank’s executive officer after the bank acknowledged it was under investigation.
Galanis pleaded guilty last summer to securities fraud charges, for his role in falsely inflating a company’s stock price. Once other investors had poured money into the company, Galanis sold his holdings in the company. He then transferred the gains to other companies. Those companies had ties to Banc of California board members, and Jason Sugarman, the brother of Steven Sugarman.
Jason Sugarman is a part owner of the MLS Los Angeles Football Club. The club sold the naming rights to its stadium to Banc of California for more than $100 million. Team officials say that they do not intend to withdraw from the naming-rights deal. The bank will not confirm its continued participation.
Analysts speculate that the investigation may focus on a statement issued by the bank last fall. The statement said the Board of Directors hired an independent law firm to investigate Jason Galanis’ connections to the bank. Last month, the bank acknowledged that the first law firm was actually hired by bank management executives. They also acknowledged that the firm had ties to the bank and to Steven Sugarman. The Board of Directors later hired an outside law firm with no previous ties to the bank or to its executives.
Ventura securities fraud attorney
Securities fraud cases – and financial fraud cases in general – can be very complex. Often, allegations of impropriety tread a fine line, and actions that may seem illegal are not. A qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney can hire expert witnesses to help the judge or jury understand the finest points of a securities fraud case.
Robert Helfend is a securities fraud attorney who has practiced criminal defense for more than 30 years in Ventura County and throughout Southern California. He knows what it takes and can bring together the resources needed to defend clients against serious financial fraud charges.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura County securities fraud case.
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