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Investors announce plans to sue former Ariz. foundation officials

PHOENIX, Ariz. (BP)–Former top officials of the Baptist Foundation of Arizona will be sued, according to action taken Dec. 21 during a meeting of more than 1,000 investors of the failed foundation.

A panel in charge of liquidating the BFA said it will also sell the organization’s holdings to recover as much of the investors’ money as possible. The announcement was made during the first meeting of creditors in the foundation’s bankruptcy case.

About 13,000 investors could lose as much as $400 million. Many of the investors are senior citizens.

The Arizona Corporation Commission, which regulates securities and utilities, halted foundation security sales in August. The commission accused the foundation of misrepresenting investment returns and lacking assets to cover money owed investors.

In its bankruptcy filing, the foundation listed assets of about $200 million and liabilities of $640 million. Nearly $590 million is owed investors.

The federal district’s chief bankruptcy judge, George Nielsen, is scheduled to hold the first hearing on the case Dec. 23.

Bassett Bryant, from Ruidoso, N.M., told the Associated Press he could lose almost $100,000. “I’m going to get hurt, but I’m not going to lose my retirement,” Bryant said. “I’ve lost 15, 16, 17 years of profits.”

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  • Todd Starnes