Symmetry Financial Group Lawsuit… Symmetry Financial Group, Inc. and its management, the Bank of America Corporation, were involved in a securities fraud suit filed by one of its own customers, which was named as “Jane Doe” in the complaint. This complaint alleged that the company had provided financial advice to Jane Doe, including the purchase of certain financial products, based on false information supplied by its corporate broker, Robert Ciai. The complaint also alleged that the Bank of America Corporation, which holds a significant portion of Symmetry’s stock, had known about the false information, but allowed Ciai to continue making the same claims, even after it became apparent that they were not true.
In a ruling issued last week, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed Symmetry’s complaint against Jane Doe. Judge William Pauley denied both plaintiff’s motion to dismiss and Jane Doe’s motion for summary judgment. In his opinion, he found that, based upon the evidence that had been produced to him, Ciai’s claims were not “erroneous,” because at least one of his statements was either a misstatement or a misrepresentation, and that Ciai had offered no evidence to dispute this. Pauley concluded that, because the claims were made based on false information supplied by Ciai, they were not the type of conduct which is protected by the statute.
Although this ruling is in favor of Symmetry, this case does not mean that all claims in securities lawsuits are necessarily barred. For example, in a recent case in which a financial company lost $3 billion from one of its transactions, the company and its CEO faced a securities fraud lawsuit, brought by a former executive, who claimed that the transaction was a fraudulent scheme, which resulted in losses to the company and its shareholders. The judge in the case denied the company’s motion to dismiss the complaint and held that the executive was entitled to a claim under the statute of limitations.
In other words, Symmetrical may be able to move forward with its claim to collect damages from Jane Doe, as long as the company can prove that Ciai misled the company about the nature of the transaction. There is no question that the transaction was a fraudulent scheme, because Ciai did not provide the company with the correct information, and he provided an incomplete and misleading statement in the application for the purchase. of the funds. This type of deception is recognized as “lying” by federal law, and the plaintiff may be entitled to seek damages from the company as a result of Symmetrical’s alleged misdeeds.
Unfortunately, there are some aspects of the current laws of liability for companies, which are inapplicable in Symmetrical’s case. For example, the Federal Antitrust Laws, which are designed to protect investors, does not apply to cases like this one, since it does not involve any sort of a publicly traded company. In this case, the complaint against Symmetrical relates to a case between two banks, one of which, Bank of America, held a large amount of Symmetrical’s stock, and the other, the New York Federal Reserve Bank, owned a significant portion of the company. The case against Jane Doe is a civil action brought by the Securities Exchange Commission, which is a separate entity from the bank holding the stock.
The Federal Arbitration Act provides no protection to shareholders, and the bank holding the stock is protected by SEC laws. A lawsuit brought against a non-public company, such as Symmetrical Financial Group, would require that it be proven that the company’s acts of fraud were the result of carelessness on the part of the company, as opposed to carelessness on the part of the bank, which was the cause of the breach of trust and breach of fiduciary duty.