Banc of California lawyers call Seeking Alpha article 'inaccurate, malicious'
Winston & Strawn said in a letter to Seeking Alpha, "We represent Banc of California, Inc. and Banc of California, N.A and have extensive familiarity with many of the claims, circumstances, and accusations which have surfaced recently involving Banc of California. We write in response to the inaccurate, malicious and libelous article published October 18, 2016 by Seeking Alpha titled "BANC: Extensive Ties To Notorious Fraudster Jason Galanis Make Shares Un-Investible." Your decision to publish this article, prepared by a "contributor," was reckless, defamatory, and constitutes libel per se. This letter is not intended to be an exhaustive rebuttal of each and every inaccuracy in the article; however, we want to point out those falsehoods that are unquestionably egregious and malicious and which undermine the entire premise of the article. It is clear from the face of the article that the author did not perform a good faith investigation into the facts presented. Instead, the author goes to great lengths in his malicious attempt to conjure support for his faulty conclusion, and, in so doing, ignores certain essential facts that undermine his conclusions, distorts public records to fit his false narrative, and tells many outright lies. In one particularly clear example, the author relies upon an out of context and out of date affidavit to imply an improper link between COR Capital and Steven Sugarman, on the one hand, and Galanis, on the other hand, but fails to mention that in a later sworn statement in the public record the government revealed that Mr. Galanis's claim of such a relationship was in fact fraudulent. Importantly, the author improperly implies that a SEC affidavit that simply attached emails and documents in which Galanis purported to act on behalf of COR Capital amounted to an endorsement by the SEC that Galanis's statements were truthful. Mr. Galanis has pled guilty to fraud. Meanwhile, the FBI's own Special Agent has stated under oath that these very statements were 'fraudulently' made. Indeed, as the government's investigation progressed, it became clear that Galanis's purported connections to COR Capital, as set forth in the documents attached to the SEC affidavit and relied upon by the author of the Seeking Alpha article, were entirely false...We hereby demand that you immediately cease further publication of the article, remove it from your website and issue a full and immediate written retraction. Failure to do so will leave Banc of California no option but to pursue all available actions and remedies against you." The law firm also asked Seeking Alpha to provide by October 21 the identity of the author. Banc of California this morning reported its Q3 earnings results, raised its 2016 outlook and pushed forward its conference call to today from tomorrow. After falling 29% yesterday, the stock is up 6% to $11.92 in pre-market trading.