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Investigations  /  03.19.2020

Investigation of Sterling Bancorp, Inc.

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Sterling Bancorp, Inc. (SBT) Accused of Misleading Shareholders 

On November 17, 2017 for alleged violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 between November 17, 2017 and December 8, 2019, Sterling held its initial public offering, selling 17,250,000 shares at $12 per share for total proceeds of $207 million. In the Company’s Registration Statement and throughout the relevant period, the Company touted its “large and growing portfolio,” as well as the significance of its Advantage Loan Program, disclosing that the program constituted 77% of its loan portfolio. Then, on June 21, 2019, Sterling entered into an agreement with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) to enhance its anti-money-laundering and Bank Secrecy Act compliance, but assured investors that the Company did not believe the agreement would materially impact its performance. Despite its assurances, on December 9, 2019, Sterling revealed that it was suspending its Advantage Loan Program, which constituted two-thirds of Sterling Bancorp’s total loans, due to an internal review of documentation on past loans and acknowledged potential repercussions could include “slower overall loan portfolio growth, and less loan sales.” Since this news, Sterling’s shares have fallen 15%, currently trading at around $8.00 per share.

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