Millions lost by investors in closed Region 8 bank

BATESVILLE, Ark. (AP) - Federal figures show that the biggest investor loss suffered by a shareholder in a closed Batesville bank was taken by PA Alliance Trust, which owned just over 53 percent of the shares of First Southern Bank.

PA Alliance, which owned about $12.7 million worth of the bank's shares, was also at the center of the bank's closure. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that, altogether, First Southern shareholders lost nearly $24 million when the bank was closed on Dec. 17.

Southern Bank of Poplar Bluff, Mo., took over the Batesville bank under arrangements made by federal banking officials. State Bank Commissioner Candace Franks said PA Alliance sold First Southern just under $23 million of worthless improvement district bonds.

Officials say PA Alliance was apparently controlled by Kevin Lewis.

Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com

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