According to the press release dated July 14, 2009, the complaint charges Ambassadors Group and certain of its officers and directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Ambassadors Group is an educational company that organizes and promotes international and domestic travel programs for youth, athletes, and professionals.
The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants issued materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business prospects. Specifically, defendants misrepresented and/or failed to disclose the following adverse facts: (a) that the Company was experiencing a lower conversion rate from people attending its informational meetings to booking travel; (b) that there was a decrease in the number of enrolled participants for the Company's 2008 travel programs, especially in its international outbound programs; (c) that the Company had utilized a different database in order to promote its travel programs to prospective clients; and (d) as a result of the foregoing, defendants lacked a reasonable basis for their positive statements about the Company and its prospects. As a result of defendants’ false and misleading statements, Ambassadors Group stock traded at artificially inflated prices during the Class Period, reaching a high of $40.99 per share on October 18, 2007.
Then, on October 22, 2007, Ambassadors Group announced its financial results for the third quarter of 2007, the period ending September 30, 2007. For the quarter, the Company reported net income of $22.5 million and $1.12 fully diluted earnings per share. The Company also announced that “as of October 16, 2007, its net enrolled participants for 2008 travel programs were 26,200 compared to 37,300 participants as of the same date last year for its 2007 programs” and that the “decrease in net enrollments for its 2008 programs will negatively impact its 2008 earnings.” In response to this announcement, the price of Ambassadors Group common stock fell $17.73 per share, or approximately 44%, to close at $21.04 per share.
According to the Order signed by Senior Judge Justin L. Quackenbush on October 22, 2009, IBEW 351 is hereby designated lead plaintiff, and its selection of counsel is approved to serve as lead counsel. On January 7, 2010, Plumbers Union Local No. 12 Pension Fund was appointed as new lead plaintiff. On January 22, 2010, the lead plaintiff filed a First Amended Class Action Complaint. On February 11, 2010, the defendants filed motions to dismiss the First Amended Class Action Complaint. On June 2, 2010, the motion was denied. On October 18, 2010, a Second Amended Class Action Complaint was filed.
On February 18, 2011, the plaintiffs filed a motion to certify the class, which was granted on March 17, 2011.
According to a press release dated April 19, 2011, Spokane-based Ambassadors Group will pay a group of investors roughly $7.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit claiming the company engaged in securities fraud. The suit was originally filed in 2009 in Spokane's federal district court, with a New Jersey electrical workers pension fund as the lead plaintiff. A year later the suit was amended, with the national Plumbers Union Local No. 12 pension fund becoming the lead plaintiff in a class-action suit. After going through federal mediation, the parties signed the settlement last week, said Ambassadors Group CEO and President Jeff Thomas. The union alleged that Ambassadors and some executives intentionally misled investors about the company's weak finances during 2007, when the stock price fell by 40 percent. Company executives also sold stock worth more than $7 million during that period, the suit alleged. In announcing the settlement, Ambassadors made no admission of wrongdoing. The money for the settlement will be paid by Ambassadors Group's insurance companies, said Tony Dombrowik, the company's CFO.
On July 13, 2011, the parties filed a Stipulation of Settlement. The plaintiffs also filed a motion for preliminarily approval of the proposed settlement which was later approved. The final settlement hearing was set for November 30, 2011.