According to a press release dated April 11, 2008, the class action is brought against Oppenheimer Holdings Inc., Oppenheimer & Co. Inc, Oppenheimer Asset Management and Freedom Investments Inc. (collectively, "Oppenheimer"), in connection with the sale of auction rate securities, auction rate preferred stock, auction market preferred stock, variable rate preferred securities, money market preferred securities, periodic auction rate securities and auction rate bonds (collectively, "Auction Rate Securities").
The Complaint alleges that Oppenheimer violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by deceiving investors about the investment characteristics of Auction Rate Securities and the auction market in which these securities traded. The Complaint alleges that Oppenheimer offered and sold Auction Rate Securities to the public as highly liquid cash-management vehicles and as suitable alternatives to money market mutual funds. According to the Complaint, holders of Auction Rate Securities sold by Oppenheimer and other broker-dealers have been unable to liquidate their positions in these securities following the decision on February 13, 2008 of all major broker-dealers including Oppenheimer to "withdraw their support" for the periodic auctions at which the interest rates paid on Auction Rate Securities are set.
The Complaint alleges that Oppenheimer failed to disclose the following material facts about the Auction Rate Securities it sold to investors: (1) the Auction Rate Securities were not cash alternatives, like money market funds, but were, instead, complex long-term financial instruments with 30 year maturity dates, or longer; (2) the Auction Rate Securities were only liquid at the time of sale because Oppenheimer and other broker-dealers were artificially supporting and manipulating the auction rate market to maintain the appearance of liquidity and stability; (3) Oppenheimer and other broker-dealers routinely intervened in auctions for their own benefit, to set rates and prevent all-hold auctions and failed auctions; and (4) Oppenheimer continued to market Auction Rate Securities as liquid investments after it had determined that it and other broker-dealers were likely to withdraw their support for the periodic auctions and that a "freeze" of the market for Auction Rate Securities would result.
On February 20, 2009, an Order Consolidating Actions, Appointing Lead Plaintiff, and Approving Lead Plaintiffs' Selection Of Counsel was granted by the court. On April 10, 2009, the lead plaintiff filed a First Amended Consolidated Class Action Complaint. On July 10, 2009, the lead plaintiff filed a Second Amended Consolidated Complaint. The defendants responded by filing a motion to dismiss on September 10, 2009.
On September 27, 2010, the Defendants motion to dismiss was granted and Plaintiff/s complaint against Defendants is dismissed in its entirety without prejudice. On September 30, 2010, the Clerk of Court closed this action and all pending motions were denied as moot.
On October 20, 2010, the Plaintiff appealed the Court's decision to grant the Defendants' motion to dismiss. According to a Mandate issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on January 26, 2011, the parties filed a stipulation withdrawing the above appeal.