School Districts Files Securities Fraud Lawsuit San Mateo County Over Lehman Brothers-Related Investment Losses

12 San Mateo County school districts have filed a $20 million securities fraud lawsuit against the county and its former treasure Lee Buffington. The securities complaint says that the plaintiffs lost approximately that amount in school district funds when Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy in 2008. The school districts contend that Buffington should have made smarter investments to protect their money. Instead, they claim that San Mateo County put too much of its pulled investment funds in the Lehman Holdings. The county lost approximately $155 million in the funds.

According to county schools Superintendent Anne Campbell, who is also a plaintiff of the securities case, the intention is to recover the $20 million, which has exacerbated the districts’ financial problems, and make the county change its investment policy so that it gets “specific” about the terms of the portfolio’s diversification. The plaintiffs are accusing Buffington and other county investment managers of negligent management and breach of fiduciary duty.

Meantime, Stuart Gasner, the county’s attorney, has called his client a “victim of Lehman Brothers’ nondisclosures.” He contends that the county did not do anything wrong. Also, not only is he accusing the school districts of failing to follow proper procedures when filing their securities complaint, but he also says that the complaint is not beneficial to taxpayers because it won’t “bring in any new money” while costing funds for the county’s defense.

School districts who are plaintiffs of the securities lawsuit against San Mateo County include Woodside Elementary School District, Belmont-Redwood Shores Elementary School District, San Mateo Union High School District, Burlingame Elementary School District, San Carlos Elementary School District, Cabrillo Unified School District, San Bruno Park Elementary School District, Jefferson Elementary School District, Ravenswood City Elementary School District, Las Lomitas Elementary School District, Portola Valley Elementary School District, and Menlo Park City Elementary School District.

Related Web Resources:
School Districts Sue San Mateo County For $20 Million, KTVU, January 5, 2011

Schools sue San Mateo County, The Daily Journal, January 5, 2011

School Districts, San Mateo County

San Mateo County

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