Bert Lance and 10 other persons and companies were accused by the Securities and Exchange Commision yesterday of violating securities laws in connection with purchase of stock in Financial General Bankshares Inc, a Washington bankholding company.
The SEC complaint said that Lance became involved in the struggle for control of Financial General in the spring of 1977, while he was still director of the Office of Management and Budget.
The SEC filed its civil complaint in U.S. District Cour yesterday. It charges Lance and the codefendants with failing to report purchases of stock as required by law. The SEC asked for a permanent injunction compelling Lance and the others to comply with the law.
The complaint is the first formal action against Lance, who resigned as President Carter's budget director last September because of criticism of his Georgia banking activities.
Action on other SEC investigations involving Lance is expected next week.
SEC sources said the complaint involving Financial General may be settled today. Attorneys for the SEC and the defendants negotiated terms of a possible agreement yesterday and planned to present it to Judge Oliver Gasch today.
[However, United Press International reported that Lance, through his attorney. Robert Atlman, said he would fight the charges.]
Defendants named in the case include Lance and nine others involved with him in an alleged bid for control of Financial General, and the company's president, G. William Middendorf, the former secretary of the Navy.
Jackson T. Stephens, a Little Rock, Ark., investment banker, and the company he heads, Stephens Inc.
Eugene Metzger, a Washington attorney and Financial General Stock-holder.
Shiek Kamal Adham, head of Saudi Arabia's intelligence agency, one of four Arabs who purchased Financial General shares.
Sheik Sultan Bin Zaid al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi, another purchaser of FG stock.
Abdullah Darwish, financial adviser to the loyal family of Abu Dhabi, who represented the crown price's 4-year-old brother, in whose name Financial General Stock also was purchased.
Faisal Saud at Fulaig, a businessman from Kuwait, who also owns stock in Financial General.
Bank of credit and Commerce International, a London financial institution.
Aga Hassan Abedi, president of BCCI.
The SEC complaint charges that Lance, Metzger, Stephens, Stephens Incs, Abedi and BCCI purchased stock in Financial General for the four Arabs, acquiring about 20 percent of the shares of the $2.2 billion bank holding company.
The SEC said the group violated Section 13d of federal securities law by failing to notify the company, the SEC and the American Stock Exchange that they had acquired more than 5 percent of the stock. The report should have been filed within 10 days after the stock was acquired, the SEC said.
Each of the Arabs purchased about 4.9 percent of the shares, the SEC said, in an apparent attempt to avoid the reporting requirements. But tha SEC complaint said the law was violated because the defendants "agreed to act as one or more groups . . . in acquiring stock in Financial General."
The complaint said Lance and the defendants also sought to avoid revealing the identity of the buyers of the stock and hit their intend to gain control of the company or seek representation on its board of directors.
The stock purchases covered in the complaint were made in December 1977 and January and February of this year, but the SEC complaint says Lance was involved in the bid for control of the company several months before that.
In Jannuary 1977 - before he became budget director - Lance was offered an opportunity to buy the controlling interest in Financial General from International Bank Washington, the SEC document said.
International Bank was under orders from Federal Reserve Board to sell the bank because it was violating bank holding company laws. Financial General had in 1975 sold Lance the controlling interest in National Bank of Georgia.
International Bank Chairman Gen. George Olmstead suggested selling Financial general to Lance, Stephens and King Cleveland, president of NBG, the SEC complaint said. That sale came about.
In the spring of 1977 - after he became budget director - Lance met at the Metropolitan Club with Olmstead and Middendorf to discuss the Financial Generalthe SEC said.
The Complaint said Olmstead introduced the other two men "so Lance could assist Middendorf in assembling a group to buy Financial General."
Last April Middendorf and a group of about 20 investors bought international Bank's shares in Financial General and took control of the company.
The reports to the SEC that Middendorf filed at the time contained misstatements of fact, and Middendorf failed to file a corrected report promptly, the SEC said.
After Middendorf gained control of Financial General, major disputes developed with Stephens and Metzger over operations of the company.
Lance Stephens, the SEC said, suggested the purchase of Financial General stock to Abedi, who was involved in Lance's effort to sell his stock in National Bank of Georgia to Glaith Pharaon, a Pakistani businessman who represents Arab oil interests.
Since leaving office, Lance has worked as a consultant arranging investments in the United States for Arab investors.
Since the fall of 1977, Lance has obtained substantial personal loans that were arranged by BCCI," the SEC complaint said. The loans and potential profits to Lance amount to "millions," said a source close to the investigation.