US Century Bank is the insider piggy bank of Miami-Dade County. Its board of directors benefited from insider loans, more than any other comparably sized bank in America. Ramon Rasco, bank chairman and Miami-Dade County insider, calls US Century "a first class community bank." Today, it is the most severely undercapitalized bank in the United States and the largest recipient of TARP (ie. taxpayer) funds in Florida. According to a recent report by South Florida Business Journal, the US Treasury is poised to accept an 87 percent discount to its TARP loan, the largest yet of any bank to receive federal taxpayer-backed support.
Why the bank wasn't shuttered by the FDIC long ago is a mystery, but may have to do with the influence peddling at which its directors excel. Somehow the bank, and its directors' (past and present) land ownership outside the UDB escaped the interest of the mainstream media. Read the Eye on Miami archives, under US Century for details.
Citizens who have struggled for decades to protect quality of life in Miami-Dade, especially in lands edging the Everglades from Homestead and Florida City to West Kendall, often experienced the severe handicap levied by exactly those special interests who chartered US Century Bank in order to facilitate the spread of suburban sprawl westward and into the last remaining open space in South Florida. Now it is clear, they did it by "legally" loaning each other money backed by small depositors and gaming the political system, at which they excelled long before establishing the most corrupt little bank in South Florida.
Who is C1 Bank, that proposed a merger that essentially wipes out US Century shareholders? The Miami Herald cites only "four investors". From South Florida Business Journal, we know that those four investors are "Brazilians", but we really don't know, do we?
All we know for sure is if this transaction proceeds, the sordid details of insider loans connected to the housing boom will be buried forever.
Taxpayers are owed the facts. The US Department of Treasury must block this deal. US Century shareholders -- also kept in the dark by key Rasco operatives at the bank -- should also vote against the deal. The clock is ticking. It's not too late.