Justice Dept. searches, shutters Imperial Holdings

AP News
Posted: Sep 27, 2011 4:56 PM
Justice Dept. searches, shutters Imperial Holdings

Imperial Holdings LLC was shut down and trading in its stock halted following an FBI raid at its Boca Raton, Fla., office on Tuesday.

The FBI searched and closed the office at around 1 p.m. EDT, the Palm Beach Post reported. The newspaper said an empty U-Haul truck was backed up to the entrance at the time of the raid, and workers there were sent home.

An FBI spokesman in Miami said agents were acting on a search warrant issued by the U.S. Attorney's office in New Hampshire. The New Hampshire office would not comment on the investigation.

Trading was halted in the New York Stock Exchange-listed stock at about 1:45 p.m. An NYSE spokesman confirmed the stock was halted pending news, but could not offer any details.

The company, which specializes in originating loans backed by life insurance policies and buys structured settlements stemming from lawsuits, reported a profit of $12.6 million, or 59 cents per share, for the three months ended June 30. It reported a loss for the first quarter of 2011, as well as for the full years 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Attempts to reach CEO Antony Mitchell and other Imperial executives were not successful.

Imperial Holdings went public in February and received net proceeds of $174.2 million from the offering, according to regulatory filings.

Shares initially sold at $10.75, and have fallen steadily since. The stock was down 20 cents, or 3.1 percent, at $6.30 when trading was halted.