BankUnited Financial Corp. has countersued the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in the fallout from one of the costliest failures of the financial crisis — that of Florida's BankUnited FSB.

The bank holding company challenged the $4.9 billion claim the FDIC has filed in its bankruptcy case and said federal regulators were essentially in charge when BankUnited collapsed.

Regulators, rather than bank management, were running the show in February 2009, or even earlier, lawyers for the bank holding company said in papers filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida.

The Office of Thrift Supervision seized the Coral Gables, Fla., banking company last May 21 and handed it over to the FDIC, which sold it.

BankUnited's parent filed for Chapter 11 protection and was hit with claims from the FDIC for unpaid capital maintenance obligations, tax refunds and other alleged debts.

The holding company answered back Wednesday, asking for a share of tax refunds and other assets, including real estate and intellectual property and art work.

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