Genesis Financial Partners has filed suit against Massachusetts' Central Co-Operative Bank, claiming the thrift's officials violated state law by refusing to provide the hedge fund with a shareholder list.
The suit, filed in Commonwealth Superior Court in Middlesex County, says that Genesis twice requested the list to help the California-based fund communicate with other shareholders about its ideas for improving the thrift's performance.
The suit asks the court to order the thrift to release the list and seeks actual and triple damages, plus attorney's fees.
Thrift officials could not be reached for comment. But in a written statement officials claimed Genesis has yet to prove it's a shareholder. The thrift said it would make the list available as soon as the board is satisfied that the request comes from a shareholder and that the list will not be used with significant confidential bank information.
The thrift said it had questions about whether Genesis principal Stephen Gordon "may have traded in the stock of Central and possibly other bank stocks while in possession of inside information."
The statement went on to say Mr. Gordon is not acting in good faith, "using his prior experience and current publicity campaign to disparage and disrupt the business operations of Central."
Genesis claims ownership of 6.42% of Central stock.