According to a Press Release dated July 31, 2001, the complaint alleges that defendants violated the federal securities laws by issuing and selling Lante common stock pursuant to the February 10, 2000 IPO without disclosing to investors that some of the underwriters in the offering, including the lead underwriters, had solicited and received excessive and undisclosed commissions from certain investors. Specifically, the complaint alleges that in exchange for the excessive commissions, defendants allocated Lante shares to customers at the IPO price. To receive the allocations (i.e., the ability to purchase shares) at the IPO price, the underwriters' brokerage customers had to agree to purchase additional shares in the aftermarket at progressively higher prices. The requirement that customers make additional purchases at progressively higher prices as the price of Lante stock rocketed upward (a practice known on Wall Street as ``laddering'') was intended to (and did) drive Lante's share price up to artificially high levels. This artificial price inflation enabled both the underwriters and their customers to reap enormous profits by buying stock at the IPO price and then selling it later for a profit at inflated aftermarket prices.
NOTE: In September 2002, the Company was acquired by SBI and Company.