A jury ruled Thursday that BankAtlantic Bancorp Inc. misled its investors about its credit quality and must compensate them for certain losses.
The panel in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida said that the $4.7 billion-asset company violated securities laws by misstating its credit quality in 2007. The jury also found Alan Levan, the chief executive and chairman, and Valerie Toalson, the chief financial officer, liable for the misleading information.
The jury in the class action awarded investors who purchased and held common stock shares between April 26, 2007, and Oct. 26, 2007, $2.41 per share for false statements during that period. The panel rejected claims against other statements the investors said to be false that were made in late 2006 and early 2007.
BankAtlantic, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said it intends to appeal. "BankAtlantic lost money and Bancorp's stock price declined because the Florida real estate market collapsed," Levan said in a press release issued by the company. "The risk of that occurrence was fully, completely and timely disclosed to the market."