According to the Form 10-Q For The Quarterly Period Ended October 31, 2000, on November 28, 2000, the District Court considered the fairness of the settlement and provided, by way of a Final Judgment and Order, final approval of the settlement. As a result of the Final Judgment and Order dated November 28, 2000, the escrow funds, consisting of $6,500,000 and accrued interest, were relinquished to a third party claims administrator who is responsible for ultimate distribution of the funds (less court approved expenses of $159,000 and plaintiff's attorneys fees of $1,975,000) to the members of the class.
The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, National Auto and the named officers and directors violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by making false and misleading statements about National Auto's earnings and required loan loss reserves, as well as the Company's ability to meet loan obligations. On Jan. 20, 1998, National Auto announced that its auditors, Deloitte & Touche LLP ("DT"), had resigned because they could no longer rely upon managements' representations. As a result, trading of National Auto stock was halted. The Company also announced the "temporary" resignations of its President and CEO, Robert J. Bronchetti, and the Chairman of its Board of Directors, Sam J. Frankino. Both of these individuals are defendants in this action. Trading did not resume until Jan. 27, 1998, following National Auto's announcement that it would be required to substantially increase the size of its loan loss reserves, and that such an increase may cause the Company to go into default. National Auto also announced that one creditor had cut a $2.3 million loan to $800,000, and that another had agreed to defer a $7.5 million payment scheduled to be made by the Company on Jan. 21, 1998 until Feb. 5. As a result, the price of National Auto stock dropped nearly 69% to $1 3/4 per share.