According to a press release dated September 18, 2008, the Complaint alleges that during the Class Period, Northern Trust materially misrepresented the liquidity of and risks associated with auction rate securities and omitted material facts about the auction rate securities market, including: 1) misrepresenting that auction rate securities were like cash and were highly liquid, safe investments for short-term investing; 2) misrepresenting that the auction rate securities offered by Northern Trust were equivalent to cash or money market funds and were safe, highly liquid short-term investment vehicles and that cash could be received in a matter of days; 3) failing to disclose to purchasers of auction rate securities material facts about these securities; and 4) failing to disclose that these securities were not cash alternatives, like money market funds, and were instead, complex, long-term financial instruments with 30-year maturity dates, or longer.
In fact, as alleged in the Complaint, even though a number of auctions began to fail in the Summer of 2007 and thereafter, Northern Trust continued to encourage investors to purchase auction rate securities and continued to represent to investors that these securities were like cash or money market accounts and were highly liquid, safe investments for short-term investing, without adequately disclosing the risks associated with the securities. As further alleged, on February 13, 2008, 87% of all auctions of auction rate securities failed when all of the major broker-dealers, including UBS, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Citigroup and Merrill Lynch, among others, refused to continue to support the auctions. As a result of the withdrawal of support by all of the major broker-dealers, the market for auction rate securities collapsed, rendering more than $300 billion of outstanding securities illiquid.
On December 22, 2008, an Order To: (1) Appoint Lead Plaintiff; And (2) Approve Lead Plaintiff's Choice Of Co-Lead Counsel was entered by the court.
On January 5, 2009, an Amended Class Action Complaint For Violations Of Federal Securities Laws was filed. The defendants responded by filing a motion to dismiss the Amended Class Action Complaint.
On August 6, 2009, Judge Victor Marrero signed the Decision and Order granting the defendants’ motion to dismiss the Amended Complaint with prejudice. Judgment was entered the next day and the case was closed.