Federal Judge Dismisses Securities Class Action Against U.S.-Listed Chinese Company

In what is as far as I know the first outright dismissal motion grant in the wave of cases filed against U.S.-Listed Chinese companies that began last year, on October 6, 2011, Southern District of New York Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum granted the defendants' motion to dismiss in the securities class action lawsuit filed against China North East Petroleum Holdings Ltd. and certain of its directors and officers. A copy of Judge Cedarbaum's opinion can be found here.

As detailed here, the plaintiffs first filed their action in June 2010. According to their amended complaint, during the class period, the defendants inflated the amount of the company's proven oil reserves, overstated reported earnings inflated profits and misrepresented the company's internal controls. An allegedly "bizarre series of events" followed the company's February 23, 2010 announcement that it would be restating prior financials, including "revelation of illicit bank transfers" made to company officials and "a dizzying number of resignations and replacements" of top executives. Over the next few months additional details were revealed regarding the transfers, ultimately resulting in the resignation of the CEO and several members of the board. The NYSE had halted trading on the company's shares on May 25, 2010, but when trading resumed on September 9, 2010, the company's share price "plunged."

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Read other items of interest from the world of directors & officers liability, with occasional commentary, at the D&O Diary, a blog by Kevin LaCroix.

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