Jefferson County sues J.P. Morgan, Langford, others

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Jefferson County filed a civil lawsuit Friday against J.P. Morgan and at least 50 people, including former commissioner Larry Langford, for fraud and conspiracy related to the county's sewer bond debt.

In the lawsuit filed in Jefferson County Circuit Court Friday afternoon, Jefferson County accused the defendants of, "fraud and fraudulent suppression, conspiracy, and unjust enrichment against those who have brought the County and its citizens to the brink of financial disaster while lining their own pockets."

The lawsuit said J.P. Morgan, as underwriter for a series of bond refinances related to the county's sewer debt, used the transactions, "to generate hundreds of millions of dollars in fees and interest payments" for J.P. Morgan.

"These transactions provided no value to the County or its citizens and created an inherently flawed financial structure that imploded within just a few years," the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit also included dozens of named and yet-to-be-named defendants, including Langford, Montgomery investment banker Bill Blount, and lobbyist Al LaPierre.  The suit said the men benefited from the "ruinous financial products and services."

Langford was convicted in a federal criminal trial earlier this month of bribery and conspiracy in connection with the bond deals. Blount and LaPierre plead guilty to charges related to the case earlier this year.