The $2.3 billion collapse of the homegrown Spokane financial conglomerate ranks as the largest business failure in Spokane history.
The bankruptcy begun in February 2004 was marred from the outset by an accounting scandal, a major investigation by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, an FBI inquiry that resulted in the conviction of a senior Metropolitan executive, receivership actions by insurance regulators in three states, numerous lawsuits including an investor class action, arbitration cases and a tangle of claims and insider business dealings.
The millions of dollars spent on high-stakes litigation and experts attempting to unravel Metropolitan’s flawed transactions and financial records unfolded against this backdrop: Most of Metropolitan’s 16,000 investors were older residents living across the Northwest. Many had invested their life’s savings in a company that once claimed its unsecured corporate bonds were as safe as certified deposits from banks.
Summary written by staff writer John Stucke
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New settlement in Met suit
Feb. 24, 2010 in City on Page A1 A $38 million settlement proposed Tuesday in the Metropolitan Mortgage & Securities Co. class action lawsuit would help several thousand investors recoup some losses from Spokane’s largest business collapse. Investors … 1
Sandifur to pay $150,000 settlement
Dec. 16, 2008 in Business, City C. Paul Sandifur, the former chief executive officer of bankrupt Metropolitan Mortgage & Securities Co., will pay $150,000 to refund investors and settle allegations that he improperly paid himself dividends … 2
Met investors to get $45 million
July 27, 2008 in City on Page B1 About $45 million is set to be distributed to investors of Metropolitan Mortgage and Securities Inc. at the end of next week. It will be the second repayment following the … 1
Met trust and accounting firm settle
March 2, 2008 in City on Page A1 The Metropolitan Mortgage & Securities Co. investors’ trust has reached a settlement agreement of about $30 million with an accounting firm accused of making mistakes that led to the company’s …
Sandifur, SEC settle
Oct. 30, 2007 in Business on Page A1 Disgraced Metropolitan Mortgage & Securities Co. figure C. Paul Sandifur Jr. will pay about $151,000 to settle allegations that he masterminded fraudulent commercial real estate deals that backfired into an …
Met’s Turner gets 2 years
Oct. 13, 2007 in City on Page A1 SEATTLE – A federal judge sentenced former Metropolitan Mortgage & Securities Co. executive Thomas Turner to prison for two years, saying that Turner shouldn’t be held solely accountable for the …
Ex-Met executives accused of fraud in ‘our little Enron’
Sept. 27, 2005 in City on Page A1 Top executives of Metropolitan Mortgage & Securities Inc. were accused of fraud Monday, the first federal charges since the company went bankrupt. The actions allege former Metropolitan Chairman and CEO …
Investor seeking answers
March 20, 2005 in City on Page A1 Gerry Hanson stands to lose more than $1 million in the Metropolitan Mortgage & Securities fiasco, and he wants some answers. Hanson, who lives in Sparks, Nev., was recovering from …
How Met scheme collapsed
April 18, 2004 in Business, City Metropolitan Mortgage & Securities Inc. made an offshore investment six years ago that the Internal Revenue Service determined was designed to deprive the U.S. government of millions of tax dollars.
Sandifur’s hard landing