Shareholder Sues to See Ozark Heritage Bank's Records

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Sep. 12, 2011 12:00 am  

A shareholder and former board member of Ozark Heritage Bank of Mountain View has filed a lawsuit to see the documents related to the purchase of First National Bank of Altheimer in 2009.

Carl Cooper said he owns 35,000 shares of Ozark and has a right to see and inspect the records, according to his lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court.

Cooper said in the lawsuit that he wanted to make sure Ozark performed its fiduciary duties in the purchase.

He “has reason to believe that all stock issued by [Ozark Heritage] is not accounted for,” the lawsuit said.

Cooper has asked a judge to order the bank to hand over the documents. He also requested that his case be moved to the front of the line “in order to facilitate and expedite his application.”

Ozark said in its answer that Cooper’s request for information goes beyond what he’s entitled to.

The bank also said in its answer that it was nervous about handing over confidential information to him. Ozark said it believed that Cooper “has disclosed certain of the Bank’s confidential information to unauthorized persons in violation of the Confidentiality Agreement and the applicable federal law.”

Ozark has asked that the case be dismissed.

Neither Ozark’s attorney, Ryan Caststeel of Little Rock, nor Cooper’s attorney, L. Gray Dellinger of Melbourne, returned a call for comment.

If you recall, a group of investors, led by Marvin Sutterfield, bought First National of Altheimer in March 2009 and renamed it Ozark Heritage Bank. The deal was estimated to be worth $3.1 million.

For the first six months of this year, Ozark has lost $171,000 on total assets of $64.7 million. For the same period in 2010, the bank lost $141,000 on assets of $66.4 million.




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