Pacific Continental Dodges on Jeff Pinneo and the Murdock Trust

When confronted with board member Jeff Pinneo’s involvement with the Murdock Charitable Trust and their funding of the anti-LGBTQ Alliance Defending Freedom and the anti-worker political groups National Right to Work and the Freedom Foundation, Pacific Continental Bank claimed it did not involve itself in its board members’ other business or board interests.

That, however, has not always been the case. In fact, in January, Pacific Continental paid $5 million to settle claims it had knowingly financed a Ponzi scheme run by one of its board members (who also happened to be the son of the founder of the bank). Even the trustee managing the bankruptcy of the Ponzi scheme company, Thomas Huntsberger, said the bank was “an essential component to the continuation of the Ponzi scheme.”

Pacific Continental agreed to pay $4.9 million “to settle claims they knowingly aided and abetted the alleged Berjac Ponzi scheme that cost investors nearly $40 million.” “Berjac was an obscure family-owned finance company that supposedly specialized in loaning money to individuals so that they could buy insurance. … Rather, Berjac executives allegedly pocketed investors’ money for their own uses, which included a hodgepodge of real estate and housing ventures.”

The head of Berjac, “Michael Holcomb sat on Pacific Continental’s board of directors.” He ran the company with his brother Gary. Michael and Gary’s father, Jack Holcomb, founded Pacific Continental Bank.

It appears that leadership at Pacific Continental is still showing bad judgment. After financing a board member’s Ponzi scheme, they are now refusing to get involved when another board member who is associated with funding a hate group and organizations working to reduce the wages of workers who likely are Pacific Continental customers.

TAKE ACTION: Tell Columbia Bank and Pacific Continental Bank leaders to drop their ties to a hate group funder.

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