Securities Fraud

Stueve Siegel Hanson has handled a wide variety of class and individual securities fraud cases, including cases involving misrepresentations, suitability, and non-disclosure. Currently, Stueve Siegel Hanson is acting as lead counsel in a number of cases alleging violation of the securities laws in connection with the collapse of the $330 billion auction rate securities market. SSH has been named lead counsel under the PSLRA in such cases against JP Morgan, E*Trade, UBS, Wachovia, Stifel Nicholas and Deutsche Bank, and expects to be named lead counsel in several auction rate securities cases.

SSH reached a $19.4 million settlement against H&R Block in connection with the sale of their Express IRA product, and is prosecuting federal securities claims against FC Stone Company.

Lawyers at the firm also have prosecuted minority oppression and shareholder derivative cases and have handled several securities-related regulatory matters before the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (previously known as the National Association of Securities Dealers), and state regulatory agencies.

Stueve Siegel Hanson represents individuals who present information to the SEC about possible violations of the federal securities laws that have occurred under the whistleblower program.

 

 

401(k) Fee Litigation

With the recent lawsuit filed against Fidelity Investments by 401(k) participants, the use of float income within 401(k) plans is getting more attention in the industry.  In the Fidelity lawsuit, participants allege that Fidelity made prohibited transactions and breached their fiduciary duty by using float income to pay itself fees above and beyond the fees authorized in the trust agreements.  

Float income is derived when plan assets are deposited on an interim basis in interest-bearing accounts before the funds are invested or disbursed as directed by the plans’ participants.  The float income should be credited to the contributions made by the plans or the plans’ participants, not back to the mutual funds.

The Fidelity lawsuit follows a March 2012 decision in Tussey v. ABB Inc. by U.S. District Court Judge Nanette Laughrey in the Western District of Missouri.  Ruling that the defendant breached their fiduciary duties by “failing to distribute float income solely for the interest of the plan,” the defendant was required to compensate the plan $1.7 million for lost float income.  
 
Click here to view the Order.

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