Great Western Targeted in Class-Action Lawsuit

A federal class-action lawsuit against Chatsworth-based Great Western Financial Corp. was filed in Florida last week alleging securities fraud involving a $4.5-million offshore fund marketed by a subsidiary of the bank.

The plaintiffs allege that the fund, part of the Sierra North American Government Fund, was not properly registered with Florida state authorities and the Securities and Exchange Commission, said Ian Campbell, bank spokesman.

Great Western denies the allegation, saying that state and federal laws don't require such registration.

Campbell said the plaintiffs also claim they were not informed of the fund's uninsured status, which the bank also denies.

Great Western also faces legal challenges to its mutual fund marketing practices in two class-action lawsuits pending in California.

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