Shareholder files suit against bank execs

Jan. 23, 2013 at 3:38 PM
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NORFOLK, Va., Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Former executives of the Bank of the Commonwealth hid bank losses from the public before it failed, say papers filed in a U.S. District Court.

The (Norfolk, Va.) Virginian-Pilot reported Wednesday that Robert Bogatitus, who bought 2,000 shares in the months before the bank collapsed, has filed a lawsuit on behalf of all shareholders that alleges bank executives defrauded shareholders by hiding losses.

Their actions caused the bank to fail, leaving the stock worthless, the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit names former bank President and Chief Executive Officer Edward Woodard, who left the bank in 2010, and former President Chris Beisel, Woodard's successor.

It also names three former vice presidents and former mortgage officer Brandon Woodard, Ed Woodard's son.

Six former board members of parent company Commonwealth Bankshares are also named the lawsuit.

Both Woodards and former bank Vice Presidents Stephen Fields and Simon Hounslow have also been indicted for bank fraud and conspiracy charges. Concurrently, Ed Woodard, Fields and former Vice President Cynthia Sabol have been named in a civil suit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the newspaper said.

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