GREELEY - When industry regulators closed New Frontier Bank in April 2009, hundreds of shareholders lost hundreds of millions of dollars invested over the 11-year life of the institution. Now a handful of those shareholders are seeking to recover their losses from the directors and some officers of the bank, whom they claim were responsible for the failure.
On Dec. 15, nearly 60 former shareholders filed a civil lawsuit in Weld County District Court naming nine defendants - former New Frontier directors Tim Thissen, Robert Brunner, John Kammeier, Jack Renfroe, Donald Lawler, Rodney Dean Juhl and Larry Seastrom, who was also president of the bank, and bank officers Greg Bell and Jim Rutz. The shareholders represent around $13 million worth of investments made into the bank from the months before the bank opened in 1998 through October 2008.
When the bank failed, the shares essentially lost all value. The largest losses belonged to two equity investment funds with $2.4 million and $1.98 million invested, and one-time board member Carroll Miller, who had invested $1.35 million through a trust in his and his wife's names.
The suit alleges that the defendants permitted and encouraged policies and practices that led to the bank's failure, by: