Ackman files second lawsuit against U.S. government
(Reuters) - Activist Bill Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management LP filed its second lawsuit in two days against the U.S. government over bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, court documents show.
In Friday's complaint with the U.S. District Court, Pershing Square alleged that the Department of the Treasury illegally seized tens of billions of dollars in Fannie and Freddie profits.
Pershing Square, the largest shareholder of both the mortgage companies, said in the complaint that it was told the Fannie and Freddie stockholders no longer have fundamental shareholders rights.
Fannie's and Freddie's conservator, Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), denied "written demands by Pershing Square to the companies' boards of directors for a books and records inspection", according to the complaint.
In the second lawsuit, Pershing suggests the mortgage companies' dividends being paid to the Treasury should be shared among other common shareholders.
Three retirees who own Fannie Mae stock have joined as plaintiffs of the lawsuit.
In a complaint filed on Thursday with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C., Pershing accused the government of violating the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by taking private property for public use without just compensation.
Though the lawsuits raise different legal theories and are in different courts, they are both designed to enable Ackman to recoup sums for the depressed value of his Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac shares.
Pershing disclosed last November it had invested close to a half-billion dollars for common share stakes of 9.98 percent in Fannie Mae and 9.77 percent in Freddie Mac. Continued...