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Mr. Courtney and other “frustrated depositors” of the bank filed a class-action lawsuit to recoup their lost money, accusing bank’s officers, directors and accountants of violating the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) through the actions they took while Superior was collapsing.

Ms. Pritzker was among the named defendants. The lawsuit said those who controlled Superior Bank induced depositors to put money in the bank and then “corruptly funneled it out of the bank to fraudulently profit the owners.”

A U.S. District Court judge in Chicago dismissed the RICO claims in July 2005, and an appeal was rejected by the 7th U.S. Circuit of Appeals in Chicago in May 2007. The case remains under appeal in the Illinois Appellate Court. The remaining claims are that bank officials violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and the Illinois Public Accounting Act.

Chicago lawyer Clinton A. Krislov, who filed the lawsuit, said that as time goes by, the number of people who lost their money and still need to be repaid “is only going to decline by the number who die.”

Mr. Krislov, an acknowledged Obama supporter who contributed $6,500 to Mr. Obama’s federal and state campaigns, said he was not surprised that Ms. Pritzker was Mr. Obama’s top fundraiser based on her “savvy and ability to raise vast amounts of money.” But, he said, it was “ironic that in this case, she left the depositors and the taxpayers holding the bag and 1,400 depositors are still just out of luck.”

“These are people who, in the late 1990s when everyone else was putting their money into the stock market or making high-risk loans, conservatively put their money in the bank - one they thought they could trust.”

Mrs. MacKay said her aunt, Mrs. Kortas, worked as a secretary in a popcorn factory, never married and, as a devout Catholic, had planned to become a nun. She said she held 17 certificates of deposit in her name as an individual owner or in trust for her nieces and nephews totaling $209,000 and had been told by bank officials they were properly structured and, as a result, each was covered by the FDIC insurance.

Not so, the FDIC said after the bank was closed.

“She spent little money on herself during her lifetime and saved most of what she earned so she could leave it to her beloved nieces and nephews,” Mrs. MacKay said.

“She was more than devastated by the bank’s closing and was never the same after it happened,” she said. “She moved to a nursing home run by Catholic nuns after her health deteriorated and that’s where she died.”

Mr. Courtney went to his Hinsdale, Ill., branch the Monday after the bank closed in 2001 and stood in line with hundreds of other concerned depositors. He said he’ll never forget overhearing a bank employee tell “one kindly old gentleman, maybe in his 80s, that the coffee and rolls were free but that was about all he was going to get from the bank.”

“The old man just sat down on the curb and cried. It was heartbreaking,” Mr. Courtney said. “They ran their bank like a sleazy car lot and left us holding the bag.”