Lawsuit reveals alleged bank problems

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A lawsuit by investors in the Southern Bank of Commerce says they expected big profits when the bank was launched in 1999, but they instead lost most of their money.

The 115 investors have sued in Greene County Circuit Court, claiming that the Paragould bank's business plan called for it to be sold in about five years and provide a healthy return to investors. Instead, the bank was sold after about 10 years for a mere $600,000 to Southern Missouri Bancorp Inc. of Poplar Bluff.

The investors say in the lawsuit they recovered only 15 percent of their investment after regulators found problems at the bank. The suit says the investors were unaware of any problems until the sale.

Southern Missouri Bancorp says the purchase provides it an opportunity to enter the Arkansas market.

Information from: Arkansas Business,
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