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Mealey's Securities

  • December 14, 2018

    Lack Of Actionable Misstatements Lead To Dismissal Of Securities Claims

    TAMPA, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida on Dec. 11 ruled that the lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit failed to plead any actionable misstatements or omissions in making its federal securities law claims against a wholesale distributor of technology products and certain of its senior officers because the alleged misrepresentations were forward-looking and protected by the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA) (Nealan Bhatt v. Tech Data Corp., et al., No. 17-2185, M.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 208892).

  • December 14, 2018

    Failure To Plead Scienter Leads To Dismissal Of PayPal Securities Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — Interim lead plaintiffs in a securities class action lawsuit stemming from a massive data breach have failed to plead the requisite element of scienter in their federal securities law claims against PayPal Holdings Inc. and certain of its subsidiaries and senior executives, a federal judge in California ruled Dec. 13 (Ronald Sgarlata, et al. v. PayPal Holdings Inc., et al., No. 17-6956, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 210564).

  • December 13, 2018

    Panel Upholds Dismissal Of GNC Securities Suit For Failure To Plead Scienter

    PHILADELPHIA — A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 11 ruled that a federal district court did not err in dismissing a securities class action lawsuit against dietary supplement retailer GNC Holdings Inc. and certain of its current and former senior executives because the lead plaintiff in the action failed to plead the necessary element of scienter in making its federal securities law claims (James Martin, et al. v. GNC Holdings Inc., et al., No. 17-3303, 3rd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 34706).

  • December 7, 2018

    Amici Curiae File Briefs In Support Of Toshiba In Morrison Interpretation Appeal

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court should grant review of a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling pertaining to the international regulation of securities transactions because the Ninth Circuit’s ruling may interfere with policy choices regarding the oversight of securities registered within the jurisdiction of other governments, including that of the United Kingdom, the government of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland argue in a Dec. 6 amicus curiae brief filed in the Supreme Court (Toshiba Corp. v. Automotive Industries Pension Trust Fund, et al., No. 18-486, U.S. Sup.).

  • December 7, 2018

    Review Of Section 14(e) Pleading Standard Ruling Unnecessary, Investors Say

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — There is no split among the circuits after a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling in a securities class action lawsuit that Section 14(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 requires proof of negligence and not scienter and, thus, there is no need for U.S. Supreme Court review of the holding, shareholders argue in a Nov. 30 opposition brief filed in the Supreme Court (Emulex Corp., et al. v. Gary Varjabedian, et al., No. 18-459, U.S. Sup.).

  • December 6, 2018

    Drug Maker Argues That Court Improperly Certified Stock-Drop Class

    PHILADELPHIA — A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel should reverse a lower court’s ruling certifying a class of investors in a securities class action lawsuit because the lower court improperly dismissed a pharmaceutical company’s expert testimony showing that there was no price impact on alleged misrepresentations and omissions made by the company and certain of its current and former senior executives, the defendants argue in a Dec. 3 appellant brief filed in the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Aeterna Zentaris Inc., et al. v. Gregory Vizirgianakis, et al., No. 18-2474, 3rd Cir.).

  • December 5, 2018

    Summary Judgment Ruling Affirmed In SEC Suit Over Oil, Gas Joint Venture

    NEW ORLEANS — A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 4 ruled that a federal district court did not err in finding that interests held in a seller of purported oil and gas joint ventures qualified as securities and that, as a result, a federal district court properly granted the Securities and Exchange Commission’s summary judgment motion against the seller on federal securities law claims against him (Securities and Exchange Commission v. Sameer P. Sethi, No. 17-41022, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 34125).

  • December 3, 2018

    Oral Arguments Heard In Appeal Of Rule 10b-5 Ruling Against Investment Banker

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 3 heard oral arguments in an appeal of a federal appellate court’s ruling that an investment banker could be held liable for false and misleading statements made in an email he sent to investors on behalf of his boss, even though the deceptive statements were made by the boss and not the banker himself (Francis V. Lorenzo v. Securities and Exchange Commission, No. 17-1077, U.S. Sup.).

  • December 3, 2018

    Default Judgment Granted, Damages Awarded Against ICO Operator

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida on Nov. 30 ruled that a sufficient basis exists to enter default judgment in a securities fraud lawsuit against the founder of a cryptocurrency and his company because the defendants failed to properly move to set aside previously entered defaults, comply with court order or otherwise “plead to the complaint” (Andrew Johnsen v. Sean R. Kirtz, et al., No. 18-81019, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 203272).

  • December 3, 2018

    Mayweather Jr., DJ Khaled Pay Combined $750,000 For Illegal ICO Promotion

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A pair of celebrities will pay more than $750,000 in disgorgement and civil penalties as part of settlement agreements they reached with Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with their unlawful promotion of an initial coin offering (ICO), according to two SEC orders filed Nov. 29 (In the Matter of Khaled Khaled, File No. 3-18907, SEC; and In the Matter of Floyd Mayweather Jr., File No. 3-18906, SEC).

  • December 3, 2018

    Determination Of Constitutionality Of ALJ Proceedings Sought

    SAN DIEGO — An investment adviser and his investment company filed a complaint in California federal court on Nov. 28, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief prohibiting the Securities and Exchange Commission, its chairman and the acting U.S. attorney general from relitigating its securities fraud claims against him (Raymond J. Lucia Companies Inc., et al. v. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, et al., No. 18-2692, S.D. Calif.).

  • November 30, 2018

    $22.8M Securities Settlement Against Underwriters Gains Preliminary Approval

    HOUSTON — Ruling that a proposed $22.75 million settlement between an energy company’s investors and underwriters of the company’s stock offerings has met all statutory requirements for approval, a federal judge in Texas on Nov. 29 granted the parties’ motion for preliminary approval of the settlement (In re Cobalt International Energy Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 14-3428, S.D. Texas).

  • November 30, 2018

    Securities Law Claims Against Yelp Trimmed, But Suit Allowed To Proceed

    SAN FRANCISCO — Although certain statements made by online business review platform Yelp Inc. and certain of its senior executives were mere puffery and thus, not actionable, shareholders have sufficiently shown that the others were materially false and misleading to support their claims that the defendants violated federal securities laws in stating its expected revenues for fiscal year 2017 in violation of federal securities laws, a federal judge in California ruled Nov. 27 in granting in part and denying in part a motion to dismiss (Roei Azar, et al. v. Yelp Inc., et al., No. 18-0400, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 200769).

  • November 29, 2018

    Campbell Soup Co. Hit With Stock Drop Suit Over Fresh Division Financial Losses

    CAMDEN, N.J. — An investor filed a securities class action lawsuit in New Jersey federal court on Nov. 27, alleging that Campbell Soup Co. and certain of its current former senior executives concealed profitability issues with its fresh division in violation of federal securities laws (Charles W. Clayton v. Campbell Soup Co., et al., No. 18-16476, D. N.J.).

  • November 28, 2018

    Panel Upholds Court’s Dismissal Of Stockholder Claims As Time-Barred

    SAN FRANCISCO — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 23 ruled that a stockholder’s Delaware state law claims against a company he alleged mishandled his shares of its stock are time-barred because he was put on notice that he owed back taxes on dividends of the stock in 1992 but failed to cure any issues (Anthony P. Miele III v. Franklin Resources Inc., et al., No. 17-16030, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 33077).

  • November 27, 2018

    Lead Plaintiffs’ Request To Alter Judgment In Chipotle Securities Suit Denied

    NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on Nov. 20 ruled that lead plaintiffs in a securities class action lawsuit have failed to provide sufficient newly discovered evidence to support their request to alter the judge’s previous ruling dismissing their federal securities law claims against restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. and certain of its executive officers stemming from a nationwide outbreak of E. coli outbreaks at several of the restaurant chain’s locations (Susie Ong v. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., et al., No. 16-141, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 198155).

  • November 21, 2018

    Panel: Barclays Sufficiently Pleaded Negative Loss Causation In Securities Suit

    NEW YORK — A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 19 ruled that a federal district court did not err in granting a motion for summary judgment filed by Barclays Bank, its holding company and others in a securities class action because a lead plaintiff failed to sufficiently show that Barclays had any duty to disclose its negative exposure to the subprime mortgage crisis in violation of federal securities laws (In re Barclays Bank PLC Securities Litigation, No. 17-3293, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 32622).

  • November 20, 2018

    Panel Affirms Summary Judgment Ruling In SEC Penny Stock Suit

    NEW YORK — A federal district court did not err in ruling that a penny stock trader violated federal securities law by failing to comply with the necessary registration requirements because the trader failed to show that he was exempt from doing so under Delaware law, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 19 (United States SEC v. Edward Bronson, No. 17-2096, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 32621).

  • November 19, 2018

    Medical Device Maker To Pay $54.5M To Settle Securities Claims Over Heart Pump

    NEW YORK — A medical device maker and its CEO will pay $54.5 million to settle claims that they misrepresented the safety and commercial viability of the company’s heart pump product in violation of federal securities laws, according to documents filed Nov. 13 in New York federal court (In re HeartWare International Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 16-0520, S.D. N.Y.).

  • November 16, 2018

    Cosmetics Retailer Seeks Dismissal Of Securities Fraud Claims

    CHICAGO — Lead plaintiffs in a securities class action lawsuit against cosmetics retailer Ulta Beauty Inc. and two of its senior executives have failed to plead key elements of their federal securities law claims at the root of the amended complaint, the defendants argue in a Nov. 9 motion to dismiss filed in Illinois federal court (Barbara Chandler v. Ulta Beauty Inc., et al., No. 18-1577, N.D. Ill.).