FDIC sues directors and officers of failed Bartow bank

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has filed suit against the directors and officers of another failed Georgia bank.

The suit, filed April 14, is the 24th in the state. It accuses six directors and officers of the failed Bartow County Bank of negligence, gross negligence and breach of their fiduciary duties.

In the suit, the FDIC claims directors and officers made risky commercial real estate and acquisition, development and construction loans without adhering to its own loan policies.

The loss amounts for specific loans is still in flux, an FDIC spokesman said, and so the total the agency is seeking to recover is not reported in the suit. The April 2011 failure cost the FDIC’s deposit insurance fund an estimated $69.5 million.

An attorney for the sued directors and officers — William M. Akin, Gary L. Fox, Barry S. Justus, Jimmy L. Nelson, L. Lehmann Smith and Harry B. White — said the FDIC’s allegations “have no merit.”

“The FDIC’s complaint is nothing more than Monday-morning quarterbacking of legitimate business decisions,” Alston & Bird attorney Robert R. Long said. “We will defend our clients vigorously.”

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.