Lottery winners plan to buy big stake in struggling bank

TUESDAY, OCT. 18, 2011

A lottery-winning couple from rural central Washington plan to buy a large stake in Spokane-based RiverBank.

Jim and Carolyn McCullar, who earlier this year won $190 million – about half of the Mega Millions Lottery – are reportedly on the verge of buying a 22.33 percent interest of privately held and struggling RiverBank Holding Co., according to the Federal Reserve, which recently printed a legal advertisement in The Spokesman-Review.

The McCullars, who are in their 60s, live in Soap Lake and bought the ticket at a grocery in Ephrata. They couldn’t be reached for comment, and RiverBank didn’t return a phone call seeking comment.

RiverBank, founded five years ago, is under a federal order to raise capital by the end of the year. One way is to sell a security interest. The value of the shares the McCullars are proposing to purchase has not been disclosed.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is requiring the bank, now led by new Chief Executive Officer Chuck Brooks, to undergo a series of changes to help it reduce problematic loans. The bank has filed several foreclosure actions and lawsuits in Spokane County.

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