According to the latest docket dated November 5, 2007, discovery has been proceeding in the multi-district mutual funds litigation. Simultaneously, some of the defendants have been involved in settlement discussions with the plaintiffs. This settlement process has been impacted by parallel regulatory proceedings occurring at the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Nevertheless, the court has been advised that several settlements have been agreed upon in principle. Additionally, numerous individuals and firms have been voluntarily dismissed by plaintiffs throughout 2005 and 2006. On June 11, 2007, the over-seeing judges issued a scheduling order calling for completion of discovery by March 28, 2008.
On October 19, 2007 the three judges over-seeing the mutual funds sub-tracks submitted an order denying defendants’ motions to dismiss for “lack of standing”.
On September 30, 2004, a Consolidated Amended Complaint was filed.
In March 2004, all actions were transferred to the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings in MDL 1586.
According to a press release dated January 5, 2004, the Complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, and aided and abetted in the breach of fiduciary duties, by perpetrating a wide-ranging securities fraud that, unbeknownst to mutual fund investors, enabled SBI and Calugar to obtain millions of dollars in illicit profits through the improper market timing and late trading of AllianceBernstein and MFS mutual funds.
The complaint describes that late trades are trades received after 4:00 p.m. EST that are filled based on that day’s net asset value, as opposed to being filled based on the next day’s net asset value, which is the proper procedure under SEC regulations. Late trading allows investors to make use of market-moving information that only becomes available after 4 P.M and has been compared to betting on a horse race that already has been run. Timing is excessive, arbitrage trading undertaken to turn a quick profit and which ordinary investors are told that the funds police. Late trading and timing injure ordinary mutual fund investors -- who are not allowed to engage in such practices -- and are acknowledged as improper practices by the Funds.
On December 23, 2003, the SEC announced that it had filed civil fraud charges against SBI and Calugar for their participation in the late trading and timing scheme and alleged that Calugar, trading through SBI, had reaped profits of approximately $175 million from improper late trading and market timing.