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Appeals court reverses judgment against BBX Capital, former CEO

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has a district court's decision inthe securities case filed by the SEC against BBX Capital Corp. and its former chairman and CEO,Alan Levan.

The appeals court's ruling reversed the penalties imposed bythe district court, including the two-year officer and director bar imposed onLevan and the monetary penalties of about $4.6 million assessed against BBX and$1.3 million against the former CEO.

The appeals court threw out the summary judgment that someof Levan's statements made during a July 2007 earnings conference call violatedsecurities laws.

"While the decision leaves open the possibility of anew trial, it decimates any ability of the SEC to win. In light of thisdecision we would certainly hope that the SEC will recognize the futility andunreasonableness of further pursuit of this litigation and if it is pursued wehave little doubt about the outcome," BBX counsel Eugene Stearns said in arelease.

SEC spokeswoman Judith Burns declined to comment.