Settlement Struck in Class Action Lawsuit Against Ex-Orion CEO

Posted on December 10, 2012 at 8:57am by

This past June, former Orion Bank CEO Jerry J. Williams was sentenced to six years at the Federal Prison Camp Montgomery in Alabama after pleading guilty to three counts of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and making false statements to bank regulators. A federal judge also ordered Williams to pay over $31 million to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. for his role in the bank’s collapse.

Former Orion employees who invested millions in the company’s now-worthless stock filed a class action lawsuit in hopes of getting some of their money back, and the Naples Daily News reported that a settlement was struck after a mediation hearing on November 13, 2012. According to the Daily News, the settlement is a confidential agreement and still needs to be finalized and approved by the court.

Court records showed that Williams sold 18,182 shares of his personal Orion stock for $55 a piece to the employee retirement plan in June 2008, for a little over $1 million. However, the plan had no money to buy the shares and had to borrow money, putting it in debt.

One of the original plaintiffs in the class action, Orion’s former human resources director Bill Bartels, worked for the bank for a dozen years and told the Daily News that he estimated he lost “a nest egg once valued at more than $700,000.” The Daily News reported that Patrick Miller, a former senior vice president for Orion and another plaintiff in the class action lawsuit, described at the sentencing how he and others invested their life savings in the bank “at the constant demands and intimidation” of Williams. “Many of us felt our job would be in jeopardy if we did not,” Williams said in court. “Over time he repeatedly misrepresented to us, with deceitful promises and lies, that our investment was safe and managed with high standards of honesty and integrity.”

Such stories about mismanaged investments are not only incredibly sad, but unfortunately common as well. You can visit our website to find more information about securities and shareholder rights in class action litigation. If you think that you could possibly have a similar claim, contact our firm today at (800) 687-3333 or use the form on this page or to have our class action lawyers review your case.

Stanley Iola, LLP – Class action attorneys

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