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BANK DIRECTOR LIABLE FOR PENSION-FUND LOSSES

Former Citizens Bank director Wesley G. Harline and other bank officials failed to protect pension funds employees had invested in Citizens stock, a federal judge has ruled.

But the ruling will apply only to Harline because six other former bank directors and officers named in an October 1987 Labor Department civil suit reached out-of-court settlements with government prosecutors.The verdict, which concluded a three-day trial, makes the Ogden physician financially liable for the pension fund losses of 80 Citizens Bank employees.

Those workers saw hundreds of thousands of dollars in retirement savings disappear when the bank was declared insolvent in 1985.

The retirement savings were invested in an Employees Stock Option Fund that held Citizens Bankshares stock. The stock became worthless when the bank failed.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Bruce Jenkins directed government attorneys to prepare an order outlining his findings by March 27. The order will clear the way for a settlement between Harline and the Labor Department.

The suit also named former Citizens Bank President Gary Harris; bank directors Max Lamph and the late Darwin Larsen; and former bank vice presidents Gary Nuffer and Neal Wilson.

Harris signed a consent order last week that settled the Labor Department's case against him. While he was exempted from paying financial penalties because he has filed in bankruptcy court, Harris agreed not to serve as a fiduciary or service provider for federally protected employee benefit plans for 15 years.

Lamph also filed in bankruptcy court while Wilson, Nuffer and Larsen's estates negotiated settlements.