A group of investors in California that lost millions of dollars in a failed investment venture have sued Bank One Corp. and SunTrust Banks Inc., claiming they provided trust services to the venture despite knowing it was connected to a convicted felon who had been cited by regulators for illegally selling securities to the public.

According to court filings, about 1,800 people in California, Florida, and Texas bought securities in 1995 and 1996 from now-bankrupt First Lenders Indemnity Corp., a company alleged to have been backed by Jonathan Pierpont Boston, a man who served prison time under another name in the late 1980s on a conviction for federal bank fraud.

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