BROOKLYN, N.Y. — The U.S. Department of Justice sued UBS AG and certain of its affiliates in New York federal court on Nov. 9, alleging that the defendants misrepresented the investment quality of more than $41 billion in residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) it sold to investors (United States v. UBS Securities LLC, et al., No. 18-6369, E.D. N.Y.).
LOS ANGELES — Defendants in a securities class action lawsuit against internet-based car-pricing company TrueCar Inc., certain of its current and former executive officers and directors and others asked a federal judge in California on Nov. 5 to dismiss the claims against them, arguing that an investor failed to sufficiently show that the defendants concealed the financial effects of a website redesign by its largest shareholder (Leon D. Melbeck v. TrueCar Inc., et al., No. 18-2612, C.D. Calif.).
SAN ANTONIO — A federal judge in Texas on Nov. 6 referred to a U.S. magistrate judge the case of a Russian citizen who has sued a hydraulic fracturing company for securities fraud, seeking damages allegedly caused by the company’s “fraudulent scheme” in which he says the company violated federal laws and “successfully tricked” him into investing $2.6 million (Nikolay Rastorguev v. David Sepiachvili, et al., No. 18-966, W.D. Texas).
LOS ANGELES — A proposed $1.2 million securities class action settlement with a solar energy products manufacturer and certain of its executive officers is fair, reasonable and adequate and meets all remaining requirements for approval, shareholders argue in a Nov. 5 motion for final approval of settlement filed in California federal court (Noe Barocio, et al. v. Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd., et al., No. 15-4003, C.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK — A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 5 ruled that a federal district court did not violate a defendant’s constitutional rights when it convicted him of conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) in a securities fraud criminal proceeding (United States v. Mikhail Zemlyansky, No. 16-409, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 31206).
NEW YORK — In a divided opinion, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 5 vacated an analyst’s conviction for his role in an insider trading scheme, ruling that a federal judge in New York improperly allowed certain evidence from the defendant’s father and refused to allow other evidence that contradicted statements that the defendant’s father made that assisted in his conviction (United States v. Sean Stewart, et al., No. 17-593, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 31207).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal district court did not abuse its discretion in imposing an obstruction of justice enhancement on the sentencing of an investment broker convicted of operating a Ponzi scheme, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 2 in affirming (United States v. James Berghius, No. 17-10441, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 31139).
HOUSTON — The federal judge in Texas overseeing a securities class action against an energy company, certain of its officers and directors and others granted preliminary approval of a $146 million settlement agreement, ruling that the proposed deal has met all statutory guidelines for approval (In re Cobalt International Energy Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 14-3428, S.D. Texas).
NEW YORK — In an Oct. 16 complaint filed in a New York federal court, the Securities and Exchange Commission alleges that two individuals “perpetrated multiple schemes to defraud their advisory clients, which were insurance companies and reinsurance trusts” (Securities and Exchange Commission v. Alexander C. Burns, et al., No. 18-09477, S.D. N.Y.).
SALT LAKE CITY — A developer of genetic diagnostic products and certain of its current and former executive officers on Oct. 30 asked a federal judge in Utah to dismiss a securities class action lawsuit that alleges that the defendants concealed their involvement in a scheme to overbill Medicare for certain genetic tests in violation of federal securities laws (Matthew Kessman v. Myriad Genetics Inc., et al., No. 18-0336, D. Utah).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A federal magistrate judge in New Mexico on Oct. 31 issued an amended final judgment in a securities enforcement action, ordering a defendant to disgorge more than $5 million, plus pay more than $5 million in prejudgment interest and civil penalties (SEC v. Charles R. Kokesh, No. 09-1021, D. N.M., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 186412).
TRENTON, N.J. — Honeywell International Inc. made materially false and misleading statements to investors about asbestos-related liabilities stemming from its previous ownership of Bendix Friction Materials, a securities class alleges in an Oct. 31 complaint (David Kanefsky, et al. v. Honeywell International Inc., et al., No. 18-15536, D. N.J.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A federal judge in North Carolina on Oct. 26 ruled that lead plaintiffs in a securities class action failed to sufficiently plead scienter in making their federal securities law claims against a biopharmaceutical company and certain of its executive officers (Johnathan Hirtenstein v. Cempra Inc., et al., No. 16-1303, M.D. N.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18343).
PHILADELPHIA — The lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit against a generic drug company and certain of its current and former senior executives asked a federal judge in Pennsylvania on Oct. 26 to deny a motion to dismiss the action, which claims that the defendants violated federal securities laws by concealing their involvement in an anti-competitive generic drug price-fixing scheme (Alexandre Pelletier v. Endo International PLC, et al., No. 17-5114, E.D. Pa.).
NEW YORK — A federal district court did not err in ruling that an investor in E*TRADE Securities LLC (E-Trade) failed to plead the necessary element of reliance in bringing his federal securities claims against the broker-dealer, its parent company and certain current and former executive officers of the company, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 25 in affirming (Craig L. Schwab v. E*TRADE Financial Corp., et al., No. 18-461, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30192).
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will pay $166 million to settle claims that it and its CEO violated federal securities laws by covering up a bribery scheme involving Wal-Mart’s Mexican subsidiary, according to documents filed in Arkansas federal court on Oct. 26 (City of Pontiac General Employees Retirement System v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., et al., No. 12-5162, W.D. Ark.).
NEW YORK — A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Oct. 25 rejected a man’s appeal of his conviction for insider trading, ruling that the defendant failed to show that subsequent legal developments rendered a jury instruction on personal benefit in error (Doug Whitman v. United States of America, No. 15-2686, 2nd Cir.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Oct. 24 ruled that a lead plaintiff in a securities class action pertaining to the failed merger between Rite Aid and Walgreens drug stores lacks standing to bring federal securities law claims on behalf of a class of investors because his last purchase of Rite Aid stock occurred before Walgreens’ first actionable misstatement or omission (Jerry Hering v. Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., No. 15-2440, M.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 182177).
NEW YORK — New York Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood sued Exxon Mobil Corp. in New York state court on Oct. 24, alleging that the oil company misled investors about the measures it was taking as a business in response to growing climate change regulations (People of the State of New York v. Exxon Mobil Corp., No. 452044/2018, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Oct. 23 ruled that a consumer failed to “articulate the legal bases for his claims” in bringing a class action lawsuit against a bitcoin exchange and certain of its executive officers (Jeffrey Berk v. Coinbase Inc., et al., No. 4:18-cv-01364, N.D. Calif.).