According to a press release dated May 1, 2008, a class action has been commenced on behalf of all persons or entities who purchased or otherwise acquired shares of MAT Five LLC (“MAT Five”) pursuant and/or traceable to a false and misleading Private Placement Memorandum (“PPM”) on or about December 18, 2006 and/or its Supplements and who were damaged thereby.
The complaint charges MAT Five, Citigroup Global Markets Inc. (“Citigroup Global”) (the corporate and capital markets arm of Citigroup, Inc.’s (“Citigroup”) (NYSE:C) Corporate and Investment Banking group), Citigroup Alternative Investments LLC (“CAI”), Citigroup Fixed Income Alternatives (“CFIA”) and Reaz Islam with violations of the Securities Act of 1933 and Delaware law. MAT Five is a limited liability company that makes investments in limited liability company interests issued by Municipal Opportunity Fund Five National (“MOF Five”), a limited liability company that makes leveraged investments in fixed-rate, tax-exempt municipal bonds.
Specifically, the complaint alleges that during late 2006 and continuing into early 2007, Citigroup, through CFIA and CAI, targeted many of its clients who were believed to be interested in fixed-income investments which would provide higher yields. One type of investment Citigroup promoted to its investors was municipal bond opportunities involving the arbitrage of tax-exempt and taxable bonds. These were actually very risky investments which could drop precipitously if the markets changed, or if the investments were not properly managed. Defendants caused the PPM and presentation materials for MAT Five (the “Selling Documents”) to be disseminated beginning in 2006 in connection with the issuance of hundreds of millions of dollars of shares. The Selling Documents were false and misleading in that the strategy to be employed would not protect investors as suggested by the ratings of the underlying investments and defendants did not have risk management practices in place to prevent employees of CAI from engaging in highly risky investment practices. On March 20, 2008, CAI wrote a letter to investors which stated that the recent credit crunch had rapidly accelerated and spread into the municipal bond markets. As a result, the cash positions and net asset values of the MAT Five fund had been severely impacted, and they were going to indefinitely suspend the fund’s income distributions in an effort to preserve liquidity.
On July 9, 2008 the judge ordered related cases to be consolidated, appointed the Michael Joel Stone Revocable Trust and Alobeco, Inc as lead plaintiffs and approved their selection of lead counsel. Plaintiffs then filed a Consolidated Complaint on October 2, 2008. The defendants responded by filing a motion to dismiss on December 4, 2008. On May 8, 2009, the motion to dismiss was denied without prejudice to renewal pending a Delaware litigation.
On July 8, 2009, a Stipulation of Voluntary Dismissal was signed by Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald. According to the Stipulation, it is hereby stipulated and agreed, pursuant to Rule 41(a)(1)(A)(ii) of the federal Rules of Civil Procedure, by and between Plaintiffs, The Michael Joel Stone Revocable Trust and Albeco Inc., and all Defendants who have appeared In this action, that: This action is dismissed, In its entirety, without prejudice, with the parties to bear their own respective costs and attorneys' fees in this action and the litigation before the Supreme Court of Delaware.