Message to our Customers, or Other Interested Parties

On August 14, 2022, El Nuevo Herald published an article about a lawsuit filed by Juan Santaella, a disgruntled minority shareholder of Eastern National Bank. Eastern is a South Florida-based community bank with four local branches. The article echoes the false accusation made by Mr. Santaella in his suit that Eastern was used as a conduit by the Maduro regime in Venezuela to access the US banking system. This is patently false and ignores the reality that Eastern is a US chartered financial institution operating for 53 years under the oversight and approval of US regulatory agencies. Eastern has obtained the required approvals and authorizations from both the OCC and OFAC to operate lawfully in the US and continues to work to effectively serve the South Florida community.

Mr. Santaella, a Venezuelan national who declared for personal bankruptcy in 2000 and was denied a discharge of his debts due to fraud, at one time was the controlling shareholder of Eastern, but lost that control following a series of enforcement actions by Venezuelan banking regulators prior to the Chavez/Maduro regimes. This lawsuit was filed back in January, and involves two of Mr. Santaella's companies, which hold only 88 shares having a nominal value of less than $1,500. Eight months later, having had no success in his suit, Santaella is using these false claims to try to gain leverage against Eastern's directors, in an effort to regain control. The lawsuit is being vigorously challenged by Eastern's former and current directors.

Please read full updated article below:
Maduro tenía acceso al sistema financiero de Estados Unidos a través de este banco de Miami | El Nuevo Herald

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