Friday, December 21, 2012

US Century Bank: Is accountability around the corner? ... by gimleteye

Future history books -- presuming the world doesn't end today -- will record the housing bubble and collapse as the trigger for a lost decade of economic growth in the United States. There has been scant analysis, so far, of the political forces and influence peddling that created the bubble in the first place.

At the local level, the insider piggy bank -- US Century Bank -- and its board of directors used the levers of zoning power to proliferate suburban sprawl throughout Miami-Dade farmland and wetlands. We have likely written more than anyone about a bank and directors protected by a code of silence. Here is the archive of our posts, mentioning the bank.

In August 2011, one reader wrote, "When I was within the inner circle of this group, I asked for a loan from a board member. I was told to go to a branch and see a specific person there. I went that day sat down and was given the amount I wanted; no questions asked. Am I thankful? Yes. However, everyone in the inner loop at County Hall did this. Or sold themselves for campaign contributions. You should have seen them--all parties all candidates goveling at the trough. What is sad, is that the bank was started with a semi-private subscription by among others secretaries at US Century, Plumbers, and Rasco et al."

The news of shareholder lawsuits and a collapsed merger with Brazilian investors promises more to come. South Florida Business Daily is revealing the mechanics of insider dealing. US Century Bank is trying to walk away from its $50 million bailout by federal taxpayers through the TARP program. We hope that the bank, its executives and directors are held accountable.


Anonymous said...

I read what I considered some great news when C1 walked away. This was after a Miami Dade judge ruled that the shareholder lawsuit against US Century and it's former Board could add C1 as a defendant (this is very layman's terms of the whole thing).

While no one is going to go to jail from what I can tell, I'll certainly be more than happy to donate to any homeless shelter these clowns end up in after the expenses of these legal messes leave the unravled mess and all the politicians who so aptly helped them will have nothing to do with any of them! Their D&O policies will cover a lot, but not all, and reading about the Madoff clawback by the receiver gives me more hope.

Stay strong shareholders and don't settle for garbage when you can get a lot more! It's not going to take rocket science to unravel all the trust accounts and how they were funded, I would even do it for free!

Merry Christmas, the World isn't ending, to all!

PS: I laughed so hard at your comment to the New Times Banana Republic about the Ana Alliegro post you made. Thanks for the shout out to the readers of this blog. I think that one post by you netted almost 100 comments or close to it! I still think they should be combined into an only in Miami chapter!

Gimleteye said...

Thanks, readers. Will re-post the Ana Sol Aliegro post on Monday. The rumors of course are flying, that she is singing like a bird to federal investigators. Wouldn't that be a fine New Year's gift.

Anonymous said...

I would like to know what eventually happens with all the Rivera crap but the Ana mystery (or non mystery to some) is still so hysterical in itself!

As to the US Century situation, this one thing, that they're still left holding the bag and on the hook makes me smile too!

Santa came early with this one!

Anonymous said...

Kudos to "Eye on Miami" and "South Florida Business Journal" for reporting on US Century Bank. To paraphrase Yogi Berra it ain't over yet. Hopefully an outside investigation will bring out the whole truth about USCB Board of Directors' insider loans and either clear their names or send them to jail if they broke the law.

Anonymous said...

It will be interesting following the campaign contributions from their current and former Board, I'd say going all the way back to the Homestead Air Base from I think 2000. There's that huge connection with the LBA and our now sitting County mayor.

What will be even more telling would be the loan records. I'd bet money there's a bunch of them to County employees pretty high up with little or no due diligence at much better terms than an average loan applicant! And, of course, those loans to the Board members themselves.

Fernandez Rundle is avoiding this one like the plague, kind of like the Rivera situation where the investigation outlasted the statute of limitations.