A bank in a city near Miami, Stonegate Bank, and real estate company CB Richard Ellis have recently been caught up in litigation with a banking analyst. The commercial real estate litigation alleges that there have been acts of fraud and conflict of interest in the sale of a bank branch property. The banking analyst behind the litigation is a representative of another bank that was beat out for the bid, despite allegedly offering more.
The suit against Stonegate and CBRE claims that the two entities colluded in an attempt to ensure that Stonegate would be able to win the bid for the property. CBRE was placed in charge of the bidding process for the property sale, while the vice president of CBRE is also a sitting board member of Stonegate as well as a shareholder. The analyst's firm was one competing for the bid for the space, and has lost a $2.5 million bid in what he called a fraudulent bidding process.
CBRE claims that there was no wrongdoing in the bidding process, and that the analyst was simply a disgruntled loser. It said that the CBRE team involved in the bidding was acting as a representative of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., and was chosen without bias. Additionally, the team as a representative of the FDIC didn't make the decision, but presented the offers to the FDIC in order to make a decision on the best offer.
The analyst still argues that his bid was higher than the one made by Stonegate, yet Stonegate won the property. It isn't clear what criteria may have been involved, other than monetary offers, in the sale of the property near Miami. And it won't be determined which entity is in the right until this commercial real estate litigation is concluded in court.
Source: SunSentinel.com, "Lawsuit filed over sale of bank branch," Doreen Hemlock, Aug. 20, 2012