In a story published by the South Florida Business Journal, Lewis R. Cohen discussed Ocean Bank’s sale of a property to a company mostly owned by bank insiders, which was made public through a rezoning application.
As part of the application, it was revealed that the listed managing member only owns only 1% of the company that purchased the property and about 92.4% of the LLC is owned by individuals who are also listed by the Federal Reserve System as owners of Ocean Bank.
Lewis told SFBJ that property sales to bank insiders are legally permissible if they are done correctly. He said the key is that the deal is executed on the same conditions and circumstances as it would be with a third party and that it doesn’t put the minority shareholders of the bank at a disadvantage.
The insider deal would have to be disclosed to both its board of directors and the bank’s regulators, he added.