The original complaint alleges that the defendants violated section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("the Exchange Act"), and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, and Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act, by issuing a series of press releases and public filings containing materially false or misleading statements representing that the Company provided short-term loans to businesses to finance commercial transactions. The complaint alleges that these statements were false and misleading because defendants knew, or recklessly disregarded, that the Company had also loaned millions of dollars to individuals for non-commercial purposes, defrauded its sureties into providing coverage for these loans, and had overstated its financial results based on these fraudulent lending practices. The complaint further alleges that defendants' actions artificially inflated the price of Actrade common stock during the Class Period.
On May 8, 2002, Judge John S. Martin granted the motion to consolidate eight related actions, assigning 02-CV-1263 (JSM) as the Master File. Kenneth Qi Ge, Peter Lupo, Zeng Hui Wang, James E. McGrew and Gregory W. Tramontin were appointed lead plaintiffs in the action, and the Court appoints the law firms of Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach LLP and Shapiro Haber & Urmy LLP as lead counsel.
According to a more recent Press Release dated August 8, 2002, Court-appointed Lead Counsel in the pending securities fraud class action lawsuit against Actrade Financial Technologies, Inc. announced that they have filed a consolidated class action complaint that expands the class period to include purchasers of Actrade stock during the period March 11, 1999 through July 2, 2002.
On February 20, 2003, the lead plaintiffs again amended their complaint by filing a Second Amended Complaint. The defendants responded by filing a motion to dismiss the Second Amended Complaint. On February 13, 2004, Judge Richard M. Berman granted the motion to dismiss with leave for plaintiffs file an amended complaint.
On May 25, 2004, an endorsed letter was addressed to Judge Berman from the lead counsel announcing that a settlement agreement in principle has been reached. However, the action has been suspended due to Actrade’s bankruptcy proceedings. According to the endorsed letter addressed from the trustee of the Actrade Liquidation Trust to Judge Berman dated January 14, 2009, Actrade is not a party to the Action because, on December 12, 2002, it filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. On behalf of the Trustee, we filed a status report on November 21, 2008 that outlined for Your Honor certain contingencies that have delayed concluding any settlement of this matter.
On December 15, 2010, a Third Amended Complaint was filed. The defendants responded by filing a motion to dismiss the Third Amended Complaint on February 18, 2011.
On September 11, 2012, the Court issued an order denying Actrade Liquidation Trust's motion seeking summary judgment.
On February 20, 2013, the parties entered into a Stipulation of Settlement. The Court issued an Order preliminarily approving the Settlement on March 4.
On February 27, 2013, the Court issued an Order dismissing with prejudice the Counterclaim.
On July 16, 2013, the Court issued an Order and Final Judgment approving the Settlement and also awarding attorneys' fees and expenses.