BankAtlantic, chairman Alan B. Levan cleared of fraud charges


A jury Monday dismissed all charges against long-time Bank Atlantic chairman and CEO Alan Levan and his company, now called BBX Capital.

In a long-running civil complaint, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged that Levan and his Fort Lauderdale-based company had misled investors in public statements. The trial followed a twisting series of legal proceedings, including a 2014 jury trial in which Levan was found guilty, and a 2015 ruling in which he was barred from serving as an executive or board member of any publicly traded company for two years.

"I am pleased this regrettable nine-year ordeal is finally over and has ended in complete exoneration," said Levan via a statement. "This frivolous action by the SEC was clearly motivated either by incompetence or by malicious self interest so the agency could say it did something to somebody other than watch the banking system collapse under its nose. I am ready to move on and build on the considerable success we have enjoyed at BBX Capital, which has prospered despite the unfair and unwarranted burden imposed on us by this SEC witch hunt."