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Sharan Nirmul

Partner

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Sharan Nirmul, a partner of the Firm, concentrates his practice in the area of securities, consumer and fiduciary class action and complex commercial litigation, exclusively representing the interests of plaintiffs and particularly, institutional investors.

Sharan represents a number of the world’s largest institutional investors in cutting edge, high stakes complex litigation. In addition to his securities litigation practice, he has been at the forefront of developing the Firm’s fiduciary litigation practice and has litigated ground-breaking cases in areas of securities lending, foreign exchange, and MBS trustee litigation. Mr. Nirmul was instrumental in developed the underlying theories that propelled the successful recoveries for customers of custodial banks in Compsource Oklahoma v. BNY Mellon, a $280 million recovery for investors in BNY Mellon’s securities lending program, and AFTRA v. JP Morgan, a $150 million recovery for investors in JP Morgan’s securities lending program. In Transatlantic Re v. A.I.G., Mr. Nirmul recovered $70 million for Transatlantic Re in a binding arbitration against its former parent, American International Group, arising out of AIG’s management of a securities lending program.

Focused on issues of transparency by fiduciary banks to their custodial clients, Mr. Nirmul served as lead counsel in a multi-district litigation against BNY Mellon for the excess spreads it charged to its custodial customers for automated FX services. Litigated over four years, involving 128 depositions and millions of pages of document discovery, and with unprecedented collaboration with the U.S. Department of Justice and the New York Attorney General, the litigation resulted in a settlement for the Bank’s custodial customers of $504 million. Mr. Nirmul also spearheaded litigation against the nation’s largest ADR programs, Citibank, BNY Mellon and JP Morgan, which alleged they charged hidden FX fees for conversion of ADR dividends. The litigation resulted in $100 million in recoveries for ADR holders and significant reforms in the FX practices for ADRs.

Mr. Nirmul has served as lead counsel in several high-profile securities fraud cases, including a $2.4 billion recovery for Bank of America shareholders arising from BoA’s shotgun merger with Merrill Lynch in 2009. More recently, Mr. Nirmul was lead trial counsel in litigation arising from the IPO of social media company Snap, Inc., which has resulted in a $187.5 million settlement for Snap’s investors, claims against Endo Pharmaceuticals, arising from its disclosures concerning the efficacy of its opioid drug, Opana ER, which resulted in a recovery of $80.5 million for Endo’s shareholders, and claims against Ocwen Financial, arising from its mortgage servicing practices and disclosures to investors, which settled on the eve of trial for $56 million. Mr. Nirmul currently serves as lead trial counsel in pending securities class actions involving General Electric, Kraft-Heinz, and the stunning collapse of Luckin Coffee Inc., following disclosure of a massive accounting fraud just ten months after its IPO. He also currently serves on the Executive Committee for the multi-district litigation involving the Chicago Board Options Exchange and the manipulation of its key product, the Cboe Volatility Index.

Mr. Nirmul received his law degree from The George Washington University National Law Center and undergraduate degree from Cornell University. He was born and grew up in Durban, South Africa.

Speaking Engagements

Sharan is a regular speaker at the Firm’s annual conferences, the Rights & Responsibilities of Institutional Investors in Amsterdam and the Evolving Fiduciary Obligations of Pension Plans in Washington, D.C.

Awards/Rankings

Experience

Current Cases

  • CASE CAPTION      Industriens Pensionsforsikring A/S v. Becton, Dickinson and Company, et al.
    COURT United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
    CASE NUMBER 2:20-cv-02155-SRC-CLW
    JUDGE Honorable Stanley R. Chesler and Honorable Cathy L. Waldor
    PLAINTIFF Industriens Pensionsforsikring A/S (“Industriens”)
    DEFENDANTS Becton, Dickinson and Company, Vincent A. Forlenza, Thomas E. Polen, and Christopher R. Reidy
    CLASS PERIOD November 5, 2019 through February 5, 2020, inclusive

    This securities fraud class action arises out of Becton’s alleged misrepresentations concerning its ability to market one of its key products—the Alaris infusion pump system (“Alaris”)—in 2020.

    For years, Alaris has been an important revenue driver for Becton, accounting for hundreds of millions of dollars in annual sales, and the cornerstone product of its main Becton Medical segment. Beginning in November 2019, Defendants stopped shipping Alaris, explaining to investors that the pause related to mere software “upgrades,” would quickly resolve, and would simply push Alaris sales into the final three quarters of Becton’s fiscal 2020, allowing for strong Company-wide 2020 earnings growth. In reality, however, the problems with Alaris were much more severe than Defendants let on, as the product had been beset with undisclosed defects, safety and compliance issues, and regulatory failures for months, and in some cases, years, prior to late 2019. The Alaris shipping hold was in fact precipitated by actions of the Food and Drug Administration, and highly likely to persist indefinitely, hurting Becton revenues. When Defendants revealed the full sweep of these issues in February 2020, and the fact that Alaris would be pulled from the market —causing earnings guidance for 2020 to be slashed—Becton’s stock price dropped over $33.00 in a single day of trading.

    Industriens filed a third amended complaint in October 2021 on behalf of a putative class of investors alleging that Becton and then-executives Forlenza, Polen and Reidy, violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act by making false and misleading statements about Alaris and Company guidance. As alleged, Defendants downplayed and outright misrepresented the severe safety and regulatory problems Becton knew troubled the Alaris product line, and assured investors that Becton was on track to meet its earnings guidance for 2020, anchored by Alaris revenues, through a series of false or misleading statements. Meanwhile, Forlenza and Polen enriched themselves by together selling over $58 million worth of their personally-held shares of Becton stock between November 2019 and February 2020. The February 2020 revelation of the truth about the Alaris issues led directly to the sharp decline in Becton’s stock price noted above, causing significant losses and injury to investors.

    On August 11, 2022, U.S. District Court Judge Stanley R. Chesler issued an opinion denying the defendants’ motion to dismiss in part. The opinion held that Industriens adequately alleged Polen and Becton issued false and misleading statements regarding: (i) the impetus for Becton to halt shipping of Alaris, (ii) the nature and severity of the regulatory risks facing Alaris, (iii) the impact a freeze on Alaris sales would have on the feasibility of meeting the company-wide sales guidance for the 2020 fiscal year.  The case is now in fact discovery.

    Read Third Amended Class Action Complaint Here

  •   CASE CAPTION Sjunde AP-Fonden, et al., v. General Electric Company, et al.
      COURT United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
      CASE NUMBER 1:17-cv-08457-JMF
      JUDGE Honorable Jesse M. Furman
      PLAINTIFF  Sjunde AP-Fonden and The Cleveland Bakers and Teamsters Pension Fund
      DEFENDANTS General Electric Company and Jeffrey S. Bornstein
      CLASS PERIOD March 2, 2015 through January 23, 2018, inclusive

    This securities fraud class action case arises out of alleged misrepresentations made by General Electric (“GE”) and its former Chief Financial Officer, Jeffrey S. Bornstein (together, “Defendants”), regarding the use of factoring to conceal cash flow problems that existed within GE Power between March 2, 2015, and January 24, 2018 (the “Class Period”).

    GE Power is the largest business in GE’s Industrials operating segment. The segment constructs and sells power plants, generators, and turbines, and also services such assets through long term service agreements (“LTSAs”). In the years leading up to the Class Period, as global demand for traditional power waned, so too did GE’s sales of gas turbines and its customer’s utilization of existing GE-serviced equipment.  These declines drove down GE Power’s earnings under its LTSAs associated with that equipment.  This was because GE could only collect cash from customers when certain utilization levels were achieved or upon some occurrence within the LTSA, such as significant service work.

    Plaintiffs allege that in an attempt to make up for these lost earnings, GE modified existing LTSAs to increase its profit margin and then utilized an accounting technique known as a “cumulative catch-up adjustment” to book immediate profits based on that higher margin.  In most instances, GE recorded those cumulative catch-up earnings on its income statement long before it could actually invoice customers and collect cash under those agreements. This contributed to a growing gap between GE’s recorded non-cash revenues (or “Contract Assets”) and its industrial cash flows from operating activities (“Industrial CFOA”).  

    In order to conceal this increasing disparity, Plaintiffs allege that GE increased its reliance on long-term receivables factoring (i.e., selling future receivables to GE Capital, GE’s financing arm, or third parties for immediate cash).  Through long-term factoring, GE pulled forward future cash flows, which it then reported as cash from operating activities (“CFOA”).  GE relied on long-term factoring to generate CFOA needed to reach publicly disclosed cash flow targets.  Thus, in stark contrast to the true state of affairs within GE Power—and in violation of Item 303 of Regulation S-K—GE’s Class Period financial statements did not disclose material facts regarding GE’s factoring practices, the true extent of the cash flow problems that GE was attempting to conceal through receivables factoring, or the risks associated with GE’s reliance on factoring. 

    Eventually, however, GE could no longer rely on this unsustainable practice to conceal its weak Industrial cash flows.  As the truth was gradually revealed to investors—in the form of, among other things, disclosures of poor Industrial cash flows and massive reductions in Industrial CFOA guidance—GE’s stock price plummeted, causing substantial harm to Plaintiffs and the Class.

    In January 2021, the Court sustained Plaintiffs’ claims based on allegations that GE failed to disclose material facts relating its practice of and reliance on factoring, in violation of Item 303, and affirmatively misled investors about the purpose of GE’s factoring practices. In April 2022, following the completion of fact discovery, the Court granted Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification, certifying a Class of investors who purchased or otherwise acquired GE common stock between February 29, 2016 and January 23, 2018.  In that same order, the Court granted Plaintiffs’ motion for leave to amend their complaint to pursue claims based on an additional false statement made by Defendant Bornstein.  The Court had previously dismissed these claims but, upon reviewing Plaintiffs’ motion—based on evidence obtained through discovery—permitted the claim to proceed.

    Expert discovery is complete, and the parties are currently engaged in summary judgment motion practice.

    Read Fifth Amended Consolidated Class Action Complaint Here

    Read Opinion and Order Granting and Denying in Part Motion to Dismiss Here

    Read Order Granting Motion for Class Certification and for Leave to Amend Here

    Click Here to Read the Class Notice

  •   CASE CAPTION          In re Ideanomics, Inc. Securities Litigation
      COURT United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
      CASE NUMBER 1:20-cv-04944-GBD
      JUDGE The Honorable George B. Daniels
      PLAINTIFF Rene Aghajanian
      DEFENDANTS Ideanomics, Inc. (Ideanomics or “the Company”), Alfred Poor, Bruno Wu, Connor McCarthy, and Anthony Sklar (“Individual Defendants”
      CLASS PERIOD March 20, 2020 – June 25, 2020

    This securities fraud class action arises out of Defendants’ misrepresentations and omissions concerning the existence and operations of Ideanomics’ flagship electric vehicle (EV) sales hub, dubbed the “Mobile Energy Global (MEG) Center.” During the class period, Defendants issued a deluge of press releases, and made numerous statements on interviews and earnings calls promoting the MEG Center as a one million square foot facility focused on the sale and conversion of EV fleet vehicles.  Defendants also made statements touting the volume of sales attributable to the MEG Center and the associated MEG business unit, claiming that it would account for the majority of Ideanomics’ revenues in 2020.  Concurrent with their promotion of the MEG Center, Defendants entered into numerous equity financing arrangements with a third party to retire existing, underwater, equity debt financing extended by insiders to Ideanomics, including by affiliated companies to Defendant Wu.  These financiers received Ideanomics stock at discounted rates in exchange for loans to the Company.  As Ideonomic’s stock price popped, those shares were traded into the market. 

    On June 26, 2020, in response to a report issued by market analysts the previous day refuting Ideanomics’ claims concerning the existence of the MEG Center and Ideanomic’s presence at the site, Ideanomics admitted that the MEG Center was only a quarter of the size originally claimed, and now claimed that it was supposedly part of a pre-existing used vehicle market, being utilized by Ideanomics through a partnership with the city of Qingdao, China.  Ideanomics claimed to have committed to rename the supposed Qingdao facility as the MEG Center at a later date, thereby further acknowledging that despite what was said in numerous interviews and press releases, there was no 1one million square foot MEG Center at the time Defendants made their inflationary statements to the market.  Plaintiff’s own post-class period investigation on the ground in China has revealed no MEG Center at the site that Defendants claimed a million square foot operation already existed, that the site is occupied by numerous other businesses, and that hastily erected promotional banners inside and outside of the Qingdao facility still claim that the MEG Center is “coming soon.”

    Lead Plaintiff filed an amended complaint on February 26, 2021 alleging violations of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act against all Defendants, and violations of Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act against the Individual Defendants. As alleged, Defendants’ June 26, 2020 admissions following the previous day’s analyst reports caused Ideanomics’ per-share share price to drop from $3.09 per share to $1.46, a 53% decline.

    On April 14, 2022, Plaintiff sought leave to amend the complaint and to file a second amended complaint.

    Read Consolidated Amended Complaint Here

  • CASE CAPTION            In re re Kraft Heinz Securities Litigation
    COURT United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
    CASE NUMBER 1:19-cv-01339
    JUDGE Honorable Robert M. Dow, Jr.
    PLAINTIFF Union Asset Management Holding AG, Sjunde Ap-Fonden, and Booker Enterprises Pty Ltd.
    DEFENDANTS The Kraft Heinz Company (“Kraft” or the “Company”), 3G Capital Partners, 3G Capital, Inc., 3G Global Food Holdings, L.P., 3G Global Food Holdings GP LP, 3G Capital Partners LP, 3G Capital Partners II LP, 3G Capital Partners Ltd., Bernardo Hees, Paulo Basilio, David Knopf, Alexandre Behring, George Zoghbi, and Rafael Oliveira
    CLASS PERIOD November 5, 2015 through August 7, 2019, inclusive

    This securities fraud class action case arises out Defendants’ misstatements regarding the Company’s financial position, including the carrying value of Kraft Heinz’s assets, the sustainability of the Company’s margins, and the success of recent cost-cutting strategies by Kraft Heinz.

    Kraft Heinz is one of the world’s largest food and beverage manufacturer and produces well-known brands including Kraft, Heinz, Oscar Mayer, Jell-O, Maxwell House, and Velveeta. The Company was formed as the result of the 2015 merger between Kraft Foods Group, Inc. and H.J. Heinz Holding Corporation. That merger was orchestrated by the private equity firm 3G Capital (“3G”) and Berkshire Hathaway with the intention of wringing out excess costs from the legacy companies. 3G is particularly well-known for its strategy of buying mature companies with relatively slower growth and then cutting costs using “zero-based budgeting,” in which the budget for every expenditure begins at $0 with increases being justified during every period.

    Plaintiffs allege that Kraft misrepresented the carrying value of its assets, sustainability of its margins, and the success of the Company’s cost-cutting strategy in the wake of the 2015 merger. During the time that Kraft was making these misrepresentations and artificially inflating its stock price, Kraft’s private equity sponsor, 3G Capital, sold $1.2 billion worth of Kraft stock.

    On February 21, 2019, Kraft announced that it was forced to take a goodwill charge of $15.4 billion to write-down the value of the Kraft and Oscar Mayer brands—one of the largest goodwill impairment charges taken by any company since the financial crisis. In connection with the charge, Kraft also announced that it would cut its dividend by 36% and incur a $12.6 billion loss for the fourth quarter of 2018. That loss was driven not only by Kraft’s write-down, but also by plunging margins and lower pricing throughout Kraft’s core business. In response, analysts immediately criticized the Company for concealing and “push[ing] forward” the “bad news” and characterized the Company’s industry-leading margins as a “façade.”

    Heightening investor concerns, Kraft also revealed that it received a subpoena from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the same quarter it determined to take this write-down and was conducting an internal investigation relating to the Company’s side-agreements with vendors in its procurement division. Because of this subpoena and internal investigation, Kraft was also forced to take a separate $25 million charge relating to its accounting practices. Plaintiffs allege that because of the Company’s misrepresentations, the price of Kraft’s shares traded at artificially-inflated levels during the Class Period.

    On August 11, 2021, The Honorable Robert M. Dow, Jr. sustained Plaintiffs’ complaint. The case is now in discovery.  In March 2022, Plaintiffs moved for class certification.  

    Read Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint Here

    Read Opinion and Order Denying Motion to Dismiss Here

    Read Motion for Class Certification Here

  • CASE CAPTION             Meyer, et al. v. Organogenesis Holdings Inc., Gary S. Gillheeney, Sr., and David C. Francisco
    COURT United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
    CASE NUMBER 1:21-cv-06845
    JUDGE Honorable Diane Gujarati
    PLAINTIFF Donald Martin Meyer, Manishkumar H. Bhagat, and Dustin L. Lineweber
    DEFENDANTS Organogenesis Holdings Inc. (“Organogenesis”), Gary S. Gillheeney, Sr., and David C. Francisco
    CLASS PERIOD August 10, 2020 through August 9, 2022

    This securities fraud class action case arises out of Defendants’ false or misleading statements and omissions of material fact regarding Organogenesis’s revenue growth between August 10, 2020 and August 9, 2022. Organogenesis primarily manufacturers and sells skin substitute products used in the treatment of chronic and acute wounds. During the Class Period, Plaintiffs allege that Organogenesis and Defendants Gillheeney and Francisco, the Company’s Chief Executive Office and Chief Financial Officer, respectively, engaged in a scheme to game the Medicare reimbursement system for two of Organogenesis’s skin substitute products—Affinity and PuraPly XT—to boost revenues and inflate the Company’s stock price. Defendants’ scheme centered on illegal marketing efforts that sought to induce physicians to purchase Affinity and PuraPly XT over competing products by marketing the difference, or “spread” between the amount Organogenesis charged physicians for these products and the amount physicians were reimbursed by certain Medicare Administrative Contractors (“MAC”). Plaintiffs further allege that Defendant Gillheeney personally profited from Defendants’ scheme by selling $16.8 million of Organogenesis common stock during the Class Period while the Company’s stock price was inflated as a result of Defendants’ misstatements and omissions.

    Defendants’ scheme gradually unraveled beginning on October 12, 2021, when a market analyst issued a report alleging that Organogenesis’s rapid growth was the result of Defendants’ undisclosed marketing of the Medicare reimbursement “spread” for Affinity and PuraPly XT–i.e., the difference between the price paid by a physician and the amount reimbursed by Medicare. This disclosure caused Organogenesis’s stock price to decline approximately 14%. Defendants, however, continued to mislead the market and reassure investors that Organogenesis’s revenue growth was genuine and sustainable.

    Defendants’ scheme was thwarted when Medicare set a national Average Selling Price (”ASP”) for Affinity that was significantly lower than the amount physicians were reimbursed by the MACs, leading to a rapid decline in Affinity sales. On August 9, 2022, Organogenesis announced its second quarter 2022 financial results, which disclosed that Affinity sales had declined substantially as a result of the recently established ASP. Following this revelation, Organogenesis’s stock price declined 20%.

    Following an intensive investigation by Kessler Topaz, which included interviews with former Organogenesis employees and obtaining Medicare reimbursement data through the Freedom of Information Act, on October 24, 2022, Plaintiffs filed an Amended Complaint on behalf of a putative class of investors alleging that Defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. 

    Read Amended Class Action Complaint Here

  • CASE CAPTION  Charles Larry Crews, Jr., et al. v. Rivian Automotive Inc., et al.
    COURT United States District Court for the Central District of California Western Division
    CASE NUMBER 2:22-cv-0524
    JUDGE Honorable R. Gary Klausner
    PLAINTIFF Sjunde AP-Fonden, James Stephen Muhl
    DEFENDANTS Rivian Automotive, Inc. (“Rivian” or the “Company”), Robert J. Scaringe, Claire McDonough, Jeffrey R. Baker, Karen Boone, Sanford Schwartz, Rose Marcario, Peter Krawiec, Jay Flatley, Pamela Thomas-Graham, Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, Goldman Sachs & Co., LLC, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Barclays Capital Inc., Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Allen & Company LLC, BofA Securities, Inc., Mizuho Securities USA LLC, Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Nomura Securities International, Inc., Piper Sandler & Co., RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc., Wedbush Securities Inc., Academy Securities, Inc., Blaylock Van, LLC, Cabrera Capital Markets LLC, C.L. King & Associates, Inc., Loop Capital Markets LLC, Samuel A. Ramirez & Co., Inc., Siebert Williams Shank & Co., LLC, and Tigress Financial Partners LLC.
    CLASS PERIOD November 10, 2021 through March 10, 2022, inclusive

    This securities fraud class action case arises out of Defendants’ representations and omissions made in connection with Rivian’s highly-anticipated initial public offering (“IPO”) on November 10, 2021. Specifically, the Company’s IPO offering documents failed to disclose material facts and risks to investors arising from the true cost of manufacturing the Company’s electric vehicles, the R1T and R1S, and the planned price increase that was necessary to ensure the Company’s long-term profitability. During the Class Period, Plaintiffs allege that certain defendants continued to mislead the market concerning the need for and timing of a price increase for the R1 vehicles. The truth concerning the state of affairs within the Company was gradually revealed to the public, first on March 1, 2022 through a significant price increase—and subsequent retraction on March 3, 2022—for existing and future preorders. And then on March 10, 2022, the full extent Rivian’s long-term financial prospects was disclosed in connection with its Fiscal Year 2022 guidance. As alleged, following these revelations, Rivian’s stock price fell precipitously, causing significant losses and damages to the Company’s investors.

    On July 22, 2022, Plaintiffs filed a Consolidated Class Action Complaint on behalf of a putative class of investors alleging that Rivian, and its CEO Robert J. Scaringe (“Scaringe”), CFO Claire McDonough (“McDonough”), and CAO Jeffrey R. Baker (“Baker”) violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act. Plaintiffs also allege violations of Section 11, Section 12(a)(2), and Section 15 of the Securities Act against Rivian, Scaringe, McDonough, Baker, Rivian Director Karen Boone, Rivian Director Sanford Schwartz, Rivian Director Rose Marcario, Rivian Director Peter Krawiec, Rivian Director Jay Flatley, Rivian Director Pamela Thomas-Graham, and the Rivian IPO Underwriters. On August 29, 2022, Defendants filed motions to dismiss. The parties are currently engaged in briefing on those motions.

    Read Consolidated Class Action Complaint Here

Landmark Results

  • Served as co-lead counsel in case alleging that BNY Mellon Bank, N.A. and the Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon) breached fiduciary and contractual duties in connection with its securities lending program. 

    On behalf of the Electrical Workers Local No. 26 Pension Trust Fund, we claimed that BNY Mellon imprudently invested cash collateral obtained under the lending program in medium term notes issued by Sigma Finance, Inc.—a foreign structured investment vehicle that went into receivership—in breach of its common law fiduciary duties, its fiduciary duties under ERISA and its contractual obligations under the securities lending agreements. After the close of discovery, the case settled for $280 million. 

  • As co-lead counsel representing the Maine Public Employees’ Retirement System, secured a $500 million settlement for a class of plaintiffs that purchased mortgage-backed securities (MBS) issued by Countrywide Financial Corporation (Countrywide).

    Plaintiffs alleged that Countrywide and various of its subsidiaries, officers and investment banks made false and misleading statements in more than 450 prospectus supplements relating to the issuance of subprime and Alt-A MBS—in particular, the quality of the underlying loans. When information about the loans became public, the plaintiffs’ investments declined in value. The ensuing six-year litigation raised several issues of first impression in the Ninth Circuit.

  • Represented an Austrian mutual fund manager, Raiffeisen Capital Management, as co-lead plaintiff in class action litigation alleging that auto-parts manufacturer Delphi Corporation (Delphi) had materially overstated its revenue, net income and financial results over a five-year period. 

    Specifically, we charged that Delphi had improperly (i) treated financing transactions involving inventory as sales and disposition of inventory; (ii) treated financing transactions involving “indirect materials” as sales of these materials; and (iii) accounted for payments made to and credits received from General Motors as warranty settlements and obligations. When the fraudulent accounting practices became known, Delphi was forced to restate five years of earnings, and ultimately declared bankruptcy. We reached a $38 million settlement with Delphi’s outside auditor; in addition, the class has excellent prospects for recovery through bankruptcy litigation. 

  • This securities fraud class action arises out of Defendants’ misrepresentations and omissions concerning the financial status of the Chinese coffee company Luckin Coffee, Inc.  During the class period, Luckin promoted a sales model wherein it would operate at a loss for several years for the purpose of gaining market share by opening thousands of app-based quick -serve coffee kiosks throughout China.  Between 2017 and 2018, Luckin claimed its number of stores increased from just nine to 2,073 stores.  It also claimed that its total net revenues grew from $35,302 to $118.7 million in that same period.

    On May 17, 2019 Luckin, through an initial public offering (IPO) offered 33 million ADSs to investors at a price of $17.00 per ADS, and reaped over $650 million in gross proceeds. On January 10, 2020 Luckin conducted an SPO of 13.8 million ADSs pried at $42.00 each, netting another $643 million for the company. Unbeknownst to investors, however, Luckin’s reported sales, profits, and other key operating metrics were vastly inflated by fraudulent receipt numbering schemes, fake related party transactions, and fraudulent inflation of reported costs, among other methods of obfuscating the truth. Following a market analyst’s report wherein the sustainability of Luckin’s business model and the accuracy of its reported earnings were challenged, after conducting an internal investigation, Luckin ultimately admitted to the fraud.

    Plaintiffs filed a 256 page complaint alleging violations of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act against the Exchange Act Defendants, violations of Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act against the Executive Defendants, violations against Section 11 of the Securities Act against all Defendants, violations of Section 15 of the Securities Act against the Executive Defendants and the Director Defendants, and violations of Section 12(a)(2) of the Securities Act against the Underwriter Defendants.  As alleged, following a series of admissions from Luckin and Defendant Lu admitting the existence and scope of the fraud, Luckin’s share price dropped from $26.20 to $1.38 per share, before ultimately being delisted.

    Luckin is currently undergoing liquidation proceedings in the Cayman Islands, where it is incorporated. Luckin also filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy in the Southern District of New York.  The Underwriter Defendants and Thomas Meier, an outside director filed motions to dismiss the Complaint which are pending.   None of the Executive Defendants or any other Director Defendants have appeared in this Action and all are residents of the PRC.  They were served pursuant to the Hague Convention.  

    On October 26, 2021, Lead Plaintiffs reached a $175 million settlement with Luckin to resolve all claims against all Defendants.

Publications

Caught Off-Guard by Securities Lending Programs: How Supposedly Conservative Investments

Have Turned Into Unexpected Losses for Pension Funds, NAPPA Report, May 2009

Not All Foreign Plaintiffs Are Equal in U.S. Securities Class Actions, KTMC Client Update, http://www.ktmc.com/pdf/fall08.pdf

2nd Circuit’s Dynex Decision, A Sensible Approach, Law 360, August 1, 2008. http://www.law360.com/articles/64829/2nd-circuit-s-dynex-decision-a-sensible-approach?article_related_content=1

Second Circuit Affirms "Corporate Scienter" Doctrine, KTMC Client Update, http://www.ktmc.com/pdf/spring08.pdf