Sunrise Securities Litigation, In re, No. 89-2116

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore MANSMANN and SCIRICA, Circuit Judges and STANDISH; SCIRICA
Citation916 F.2d 874
Parties, RICO Bus.Disp.Guide 7610 In re SUNRISE SECURITIES LITIGATION. George POPKIN and Anne Popkin v. Robert C. JACOBY, George Greenberg, Nathaniel J. Jacobs, Alan B. Keiser, Robert E. Logsdon, Lake Lytal, Frank Shaw, Robert T. Siemon, Bernard Simonson, William C. Frame, Sheila Evelyn, M. Kalman Gitomer, Michael D. Foxman, Robert A. Calsin, Joseph C. Taber, Deloitte Haskins & Sells, and Blank Rome Comisky & McCauley, George and Anne Popkin, Appellants.
Decision Date17 October 1990
Docket NumberNo. 89-2116

Page 874

916 F.2d 874
59 USLW 2246, RICO Bus.Disp.Guide 7610
In re SUNRISE SECURITIES LITIGATION.
George POPKIN and Anne Popkin
v.
Robert C. JACOBY, George Greenberg, Nathaniel J. Jacobs,
Alan B. Keiser, Robert E. Logsdon, Lake Lytal, Frank Shaw,
Robert T. Siemon, Bernard Simonson, William C. Frame, Sheila
Evelyn, M. Kalman Gitomer, Michael D. Foxman, Robert A.
Calsin, Joseph C. Taber, Deloitte Haskins & Sells, and Blank
Rome Comisky & McCauley,
George and Anne Popkin, Appellants.
No. 89-2116.
United States Court of Appeals,
Third Circuit.
Argued May 17, 1990.
Decided Oct. 17, 1990.

Page 875

Arthur M. Kaplan (argued), Allen D. Black, Fine, Kaplan & Black, Philadelphia, Pa., for appellants.

Amy B. Ginensky (argued), Robert C. Heim, Jan P. Levine, Dechert, Price & Rhoads, for appellees Alan B. Keiser, Nathaniel B. Jacobs, Robert E. Logsdon, Robert T. Siemon, George Greenberg and Lake Lytal.

John G. Harkins, Jr. (argued), Jeffrey C. Hayes, Pepper, Hamilton & Scheetz, Philadelphia, Pa., for appellees, Blank, Rome, Comisky & McCauley.

Rudolph Garcia, David R. Moffitt, Saul, Ewing, Remick & Saul, Philadelphia, Pa., for appellee Bernard Simonson.

S. Michael Levin, Edwards & Angell, Providence, R.I., for appellee M. Kalman Gitomer.

Perry S. Bechtle, LaBrum & Doak, Philadelphia, Pa., for appellee Michael D. Foxman.

Bruce A. Zimet, Bruce A. Zimet, P.A., Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for appellee William C. Frame.

James M. Miller, Akerman, Senterfitt & Eidson, Miami, Fla., for appellee Joseph C. Taber.

Alan J. Davis, Robert McL. Boote, Wolf, Block, Schorr & Solis-Cohen, Philadelphia, Pa., for appellee Deloitte, Haskins & Sells.

Stephen H. Glickman, Zuckerman, Spaeder, Goldstein, Taylor & Kolker, Washington, D.C., for appellee Robert C. Jacoby.

Donald T. Bucklin, Scott T. Kragie, Margaret A. Jennings, Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, Washington, D.C., for amicus curiae The Federal Deposit Ins. Corp., etc. on behalf of all appellees.

Before MANSMANN and SCIRICA, Circuit Judges and STANDISH, District Judge. *

OPINION OF THE COURT

SCIRICA, Circuit Judge.

In this appeal, we consider the legal limitations on the rights of depositors to assert individual RICO claims against the directors, officers, auditors, and outside counsel of an insolvent savings and loan association, rather than to recover their losses through the receiver's actions on their behalf, or by way of a derivative suit. The plaintiffs in this class action, former depositors of Sunrise Savings & Loan Association

Page 876

of Florida ("Old Sunrise"), a Florida corporation, and Sunrise Savings & Loan Association ("New Sunrise"), a federal mutual association, appeal the dismissal of their complaint against the former directors, officers, attorneys, and auditors of Old Sunrise. The complaint alleges violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO"), 18 U.S.C. Secs. 1961-1968 (1988), as well as pendent state law claims arising from the insolvency and federal takeover of Old and New Sunrise.

The district court granted summary judgment for defendants after finding that plaintiffs could not establish that defendants' misrepresentations regarding the financial condition of Old Sunrise caused plaintiffs' losses. Moreover, the district court found that to the extent plaintiffs had alleged that defendants' wrongdoing caused the demise of New Sunrise or that defendants misrepresented and failed to reveal that they had injured Old or New Sunrise, plaintiffs had asserted a derivative claim that could not be brought individually. In re Sunrise Securities Litigation, 108 B.R. 471, 475 (E.D.Pa.1989). We hold that this entire claim is derivative and cannot be brought as an individual RICO action. Therefore, we will affirm the district court's grant of summary judgment.

I.

On October 11, 1984, plaintiffs Anne and George Popkin purchased five $100,000 six-month certificates of deposit from Old Sunrise. Popkin claims that they purchased the certificates after learning of Old Sunrise's favorable interest rate in a Florida newspaper advertisement and after confirming that the certificates were insured by the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation ("FSLIC"). 1 To ensure that their entire deposit would be protected under the $100,000 FSLIC insurance limit, the Popkins placed the five certificates in separate accounts under the names of George Popkin, Anne Popkin, George Popkin in trust for Anne Popkin, Anne Popkin in trust for George Popkin, and George or Anne Popkin. Popkin asserts that at the time of purchase, he requested a financial statement for Old Sunrise and that he received a statement for the period ending June 1983. On April 11, 1985, the certificates matured. The Popkins withdrew the interest and rolled over the principal into five one-year $100,000 certificates.

On July 18, 1985, the Federal Home Loan Bank Board ("Bank Board") declared Old Sunrise insolvent, appointed FSLIC as receiver, and organized New Sunrise, the federal mutual association to which Old Sunrise's assets and liabilities were transferred. Defendants were not involved in the establishment or operation of New Sunrise. A new board of directors, auditor, and general counsel were appointed, and AmeriFirst Federal Savings and Loan Association was hired as management advisor. Plaintiffs have acknowledged that none of the Old Sunrise depositors lost any portion of their Old Sunrise deposits, including those whose deposits exceeded the insurance limit of $100,000 prescribed under 12 C.F.R. Sec. 564.3. In re Sunrise Securities Litigation, 108 B.R. at 474 & n. 4.

On July 19, 1985, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times ran articles on the Bank Board's takeover and the financial problems that led to Old Sunrise's failure. The Wall Street Journal reported that the Bank Board "will give the new Sunrise an undisclosed amount of promissory notes sufficient to make the thrift technically solvent ... in exchange for IOUs that don't have to be repaid until the thrift returns a profit." The New York Times reported that the Bank Board, through FSLIC, "would issue promissory

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notes to the new thrift institution to insure it was financially solvent."

In a letter dated July 30, 1985, the president of New Sunrise informed depositors of the insolvency of Old Sunrise, the transfer of accounts to New Sunrise, and the retention of AmeriFirst as management advisor. The letter stated that the Bank Board had provided New Sunrise "with the financial resources to insure its stability and solvency" and that "the result of the Bank Board's action is a stable, solvent Sunrise Savings." Popkin claims that he neither saw the newspaper articles nor received the July 30 letter. He contends that he remained unaware of Old Sunrise's insolvency until July 1986.

In the meantime, on April 11, 1986, the Popkins' Old Sunrise certificates matured. The Popkins withdrew their interest and rolled over the principal into five $100,000 one-year certificates with New Sunrise. They elected to receive their interest quarterly rather than at maturity. Nonetheless, they did not withdraw the interest when it was posted the following quarter.

On September 12, 1986, the Bank Board declared New Sunrise insolvent and temporarily froze all accounts. In October 1986, FSLIC transferred the insured deposits to Beach Federal Savings and Loan Association and issued certificates of claim for the uninsured interest that had accrued between April 1986 and September 1986 on each of the Popkins' five certificates. Since July 1988, FSLIC has made three partial distributions of proceeds to New Sunrise depositors, including the Popkins, amounting to a total of 43.45% of their uninsured deposits. At the time of the district court decision, the Popkins had outstanding claims for interest of $1,878.92 on each certificate, totaling $9,394.60. Id. at 475.

The Popkins filed this action in February 1988 on behalf of all depositors with interest-bearing accounts at Old Sunrise on July 15, 1985 seeking recovery of their uninsured deposits. 2 In their complaint, they allege that defendants violated RICO, 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1962(a), (c), and (d), by conducting the affairs of Old Sunrise through a pattern of racketeering activity consisting of numerous acts of mail, wire, and securities fraud, and the interstate transportation and receipt of fraudulently-obtained funds. According to plaintiffs, defendants attracted depositors "by holding Sunrise out to federal and state regulators and the public ... as a legitimate, well-run and secure savings and loan association" and by promising attractive interest rates in "advertisements, press releases, periodic reports and other publicly disseminated materials." Complaint pp 15, 20. In particular, plaintiffs contend that defendants failed to disclose that Old Sunrise was neither financially secure nor well-managed and that defendants had engaged in self-dealing. Id. pp 22-25. Plaintiffs allege that Old Sunrise's insolvency and plaintiffs' losses resulted from defendants' RICO violations. Id. pp 43, 44.

Certain defendants moved for summary judgment and the district court granted the motion and dismissed the complaint as to all defendants. 3 The district court stated that plaintiffs could not recover on the

Page 878

theory that defendants' mismanagement caused the insolvency of either Old or New Sunrise because such a claim was derivative and belonged to FSLIC as receiver for both institutions. 4 In re Sunrise Securities Litigation, 108 B.R. at 477-78. Moreover, the court held that plaintiffs' claims based on the failure to disclose that mismanagement and self-dealing injured Old Sunrise also were derivative. Id. at 479. The court reasoned that, in essence, plaintiffs claimed that defendants failed to inform depositors that defendants had injured Old Sunrise. Thus, the depositors' injury was an indirect result of defendants' wrongdoing to Old Sunrise. In addition, the court...

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  • Hill v. Opus Corp., Case No. CV 10–04806 MMM (VBKx).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Central District of California
    • 14 Noviembre 2011
    ...is derivative and the creditor must take his ‘place in line’ as a creditor in the bankruptcy action”); see also In re Sunrise Sec. Litig., 916 F.2d 874, 887 (3d Cir.1990) (“[P]ermitting depositors to bring individual actions for such injuries [ ] would invariably impair the rights of other ......
  • Roma Const. Co. v. aRusso, No. 95-2107
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
    • 8 Febrero 1996
    ...federal common law in this area, the incorporation of state law is the preferable alternative. See, e.g., In re Sunrise Sec. Litig., 916 F.2d 874, 881 (3d Cir.1990) (finding it appropriate "to look to state law for guidance in deciding whether plaintiffs have stated a nonderivative [shareho......
  • Florida Evergreen Fol. v. E.I. Dupont De Nemours, No. 98-2256-CIV.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Southern District of Florida
    • 24 Agosto 2001
    ...courts have consistently applied state law principles to interpret gaps in the federal RICO statute. See, e.g., In re Sunrise Sec. Litig., 916 F.2d 874, 879-82 (3rd Cir. 1990) (applying Florida corporate law on shareholder derivative suits to determine standing in a federal RICO case); Prin......
  • In re Collins Securities Corp., No. LR-C-92-267
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States State District Court of Eastern District of Arkansas
    • 26 Junio 1992
    ...561, 109 S.Ct. 1361, 103 L.Ed.2d 602 (1989), has no bearing on this analysis. See Popkin v. Jacoby (In re Sunrise Securities Litigation), 916 F.2d 874, 888 n. 14 (3d Cir.1990). Since the FDIC/Receiver admits there is an unsecured claim, has allowed that claim, and has paid on that claim, th......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
75 cases
  • Hill v. Opus Corp., Case No. CV 10–04806 MMM (VBKx).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Central District of California
    • 14 Noviembre 2011
    ...is derivative and the creditor must take his ‘place in line’ as a creditor in the bankruptcy action”); see also In re Sunrise Sec. Litig., 916 F.2d 874, 887 (3d Cir.1990) (“[P]ermitting depositors to bring individual actions for such injuries [ ] would invariably impair the rights of other ......
  • Roma Const. Co. v. aRusso, No. 95-2107
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit)
    • 8 Febrero 1996
    ...federal common law in this area, the incorporation of state law is the preferable alternative. See, e.g., In re Sunrise Sec. Litig., 916 F.2d 874, 881 (3d Cir.1990) (finding it appropriate "to look to state law for guidance in deciding whether plaintiffs have stated a nonderivative [shareho......
  • Florida Evergreen Fol. v. E.I. Dupont De Nemours, No. 98-2256-CIV.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Southern District of Florida
    • 24 Agosto 2001
    ...courts have consistently applied state law principles to interpret gaps in the federal RICO statute. See, e.g., In re Sunrise Sec. Litig., 916 F.2d 874, 879-82 (3rd Cir. 1990) (applying Florida corporate law on shareholder derivative suits to determine standing in a federal RICO case); Prin......
  • In re Collins Securities Corp., No. LR-C-92-267
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States State District Court of Eastern District of Arkansas
    • 26 Junio 1992
    ...561, 109 S.Ct. 1361, 103 L.Ed.2d 602 (1989), has no bearing on this analysis. See Popkin v. Jacoby (In re Sunrise Securities Litigation), 916 F.2d 874, 888 n. 14 (3d Cir.1990). Since the FDIC/Receiver admits there is an unsecured claim, has allowed that claim, and has paid on that claim, th......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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