A German diplomat based in San Francisco has accused the Bank of California of protecting alleged securities con men who used a complex land and securities transactions to get hundreds of Germans involved in a Nevada desert land development.
"The bank has utterly failed to give us any cooperation," said Heinz Pallasch in a telephone interview. The bank had acted as trustee for the land involved.
Pallasch, the number-two man at the German consulate in San Francisco, has worked for more than two years to get U.S. authorities to go after Leonard Rosen, a Las Vegas land developer, and his firm, Preferred Equities. But Pallasch's work was to little avail.
"I have asked them repeatedly for the text of the trust agreement between the bank and Rosen," Pallasch said. "I hope they have some good insurance for this case."
Pallasch said that despite earlier statements by bank officials that they wanted to help him and the other Germans, and that they knew nothing of any illegal activities, "they can no longer deny being fully involved."
Two law firms, one in Germany and the other in San Francisco, are planning to file legal action against the bank and a Nevada real estate firm in response to an alleged securities and land rip-off dozens of German citizens.
The possible actions are the result of the efforts of Pallasch, who has been repeatedly frustrated in his attempts to gain retribution for several hundred German citizens who were involved in the complicated securities deal that eventually left them [WORD ILLEGIBLE] Nevada desert land in exchange for an investment made in a security.
Rosen was eventually charged and convicted with tax evasion for not reporting $5.5 million in income from land sales - believed to be the sales to the German citizens. But federal authorities made a deal with Rosen to give him a light sentence if he would cooperate in another money laundering investigation. It appears now that Rosen got his light sentence, and the government got virtually nothing in return, according to sources closer to the federal investigation.
Pallasch and the German were also left out in the cold. And only last week there were indications that Rosen's firm was attempting to sell the land repossessed from Germans who could not afford tax payments to another sex of buyers from a different country - Canada.
Now, however, there are indications that the two law firms are planning to take some form of class action for many of the Germans.