LIQUIDATION PROCEEDINGS FOR NEW ORLEANS AREA BROKERAGE FIRM UNDERTAKEN BY SECURITIES INVESTOR PROTECTION CORPORATION
SIPC Appointed By Court to Act as Trustee; Investor Losses Could Reach $2 Million.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - March 5, 2008 – The Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which maintains a special reserve fund authorized by Congress to help investors at failed brokerage firms, announced today that it is liquidating Hanover Investment Securities, Inc., of Madisonville, Louisiana, under the terms of the Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA).
The liquidation of the New Orleans area broker-dealer is the first such proceeding to be initiated by SIPC in 14 months.
SIPC General Counsel Josephine Wang said that an inquiry into Hanover began after a complaint was received by SIPC and then referred to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for investigation. FINRA's investigation revealed that a former principal of the firm had misappropriated investor funds and converted them to his own use before committing suicide on February 7, 2008. Investor losses may be as much as $2 million.
On February 28, 2008, on an application by SIPC, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana appointed SIPC to act as trustee for Hanover and the law firm of Lemle & Kelleher, LLP, to act as counsel to the trustee.
As trustee, SIPC immediately secured the premises and books and records of Hanover. SIPC will seek permission from the Bankruptcy Court to publish notice of the commencement of the proceeding and to mail claims materials to customers and creditors of the broker-dealer, Wang said. Information about the case also will be made available on the Web at www.sipc.org.
The liquidation proceeding is docketed as case number 08-01021 in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, where it has been assigned to Judge Jerry A. Brown.
The Securities Investor Protection Corporation is the U.S. investor's first line of defense in the event a brokerage firm fails owing customer cash and securities that are missing from customer accounts. From the time Congress created it in 1970 through December 2006, SIPC has advanced $505 million in order to make possible the recovery of $15.7 billion in assets for an estimated 626,000 investors. Although not every investor is protected by SIPC, SIPC estimates that no fewer than 99 percent of persons who are eligible have been made whole in the failed brokerage firm cases that it has handled to date.
SIPC either acts as trustee or works with an independent court-appointed trustee in a brokerage insolvency case to recover funds. The statute that created SIPC provides that customers of a failed brokerage firm receive all non-negotiable securities that are already registered in their names or in the process of being registered. At the same time, funds from the SIPC reserve are available to satisfy the remaining claims of each customer up to a maximum of $500,000. This figure includes a maximum of $100,000 on claims for cash.
CONTACT: Ailis Aaron Wolf, for SIPC, (703) 276-3265 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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