In the eighth lawsuit that the FDIC has filed so far as part of the current round of bank failures, on July 6, 2011, the FDIC filed suit in the Central District of California against former IndyMac CEO, Michael Perry. The FDIC’s complaint can be found here.  

IndyMac failed nearly three years ago, on July 11, 2008, as discussed here. The FDIC’s complaint against Perry alleges that he caused over $600 million in losses by causing the bank to purchase mortgage loans in 2007, just as the mortgage marketplace was destabilizing. The complaint alleges that Perry acted negligently when he allowed IndyMac to generate and purchase $10 billion in loans when the secondary mortgage market was becoming illiquid. When IndyMac was later unable to sell the loans, the bank transferred them to its own investment portfolio, which then caused over $600 million in losses.


The news articles report that the Complaint alleges the “instead of enforcing credit standards, Perry chose to roll the dice in an aggressive gamble to increase market share while sacrificing credit standards.”


Even though its complaint against Perry is only the eighth so far during the current banking crisis, the lawsuit is the second that the FDIC has filed against former IndyMac executives. As discussed at length here, the first lawsuit the FDIC filed during the current round was filed in July 2010 against four former officers of IndyMac’s Homebuilder Division.


The FDIC’s concentration on IndyMac likely has something to do with the fact that the bank’s closure represented the second largest bank failure as part of the current banking crisis, following only the massive WaMu failure. (IndyMac has assets of about $32 billion at the time of its closure). IndyMac was also one of the earliest banks to fail – it was just the fifth bank to fail during 2008, while there have been well over 300 bank failures since then. So the FDIC’s post-mortem processes may be further along on IndyMac than with respect to the many other bank failures that have followed.


The FDIC’s lawsuit is far from the first legal imbroglio in which Perry has become involved. As discussed here, on February 11, 2011, the SEC filed a lawsuit against Perry and two other former IndyMac officers, accusing them of “misleading investors about the mortgage lender’s deteriorating financial condition.”


Perry is also one of the defendants named in the consolidated securities class action lawsuit first brought in the Central District of California in 2007 by IndyMac shareholders. The shareholder suit has a long and involved history, as discussed here. On March 29, 2010, Central District of California Judge George Wu denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss the plaintiffs’ sixth amended complaint, while at the same time certifying the case for interlocutory appeal to the Ninth Circuit. Judge Wu’s order can be found here.


In any event, a list of the eight lawsuits that the FDIC has filed can be found on the FDIC’s website, here. As noted on the same page, as of July 7, 2011, the FDIC “has authorized suits in connection with 28 failed institutions against 248 individuals for D&O liability with damage claims of at least $6.8 billion.” Since the eight lawsuits filed so far involve only seven institutions and only 53 former directors and officers, there clearly are many more lawsuits (perhaps as many as 21 or more) the FDIC is preparing to file. In all likelihood, even further lawsuits will be approved in the future as well. All of which means that we could be heading into a period of very significant failed bank litigation.


Readers who scan the FDIC’s website closely will undoubtedly notice that one of the eight lawsuits has already settled. The settled case  is the lawsuit the agency filed in March 2011 in connection with Corn Belt Bank and Trust Company (about which here). As reflected in the FDIC’s May 10, 2011 motion (here), the parties settled the case. However, the court records do not reveal any of the details of the settlement.


The Name Game:  As far as I am aware, Michael Perry, the former Indy Mac CEO, is not related to Michael Dean Perry, who played football in the NFL, for the Cleveland Browns among others, during the 80s and 90s. According to Wikipedia (here), Michael Dean Perry had a McDonald’s hamburger sandwich named after him – the “MDP,” which was only served in Cleveland-area McDonald’s while Perry played for the Browns. As far as I am aware, the former IndyMac CEO did not have a sandwich named after him.