According to the complaint, this is a securities class action on behalf of public investors who purchased the common stock of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., during the period from July 1, 1999 through May 7, 2002 (the “Class Period”). Plaintiff complains of a fraudulent scheme and deceptive course of business that injured purchasers of Goldman Sachs stock during the Class Period.
Specifically, during the Class Period, the Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., through its subsidiary, Goldman Sachs & Co. publicly touted its securities analysts as an objective and unbiased source of stock research. This illusion began to unravel in the spring of 2002 when New York State Attorney General Elliot Spitzer’s investigation turned up thousands of incriminating documents and emails revealing widespread abuses involving analyst research at another investment banking firm, Merrill Lynch. The release of these documents fueled the worries of investors in each of the big Wall Street investment firms. These fears increased on April 10, 2002 when the Attorney General announced he would include Goldman Sachs in his investigation into conflicts of interests among Wall Street securities analysts. Two weeks later, investor confidence was further shaken when the Justice Department, SEC and a special task force created by the North American. Securities Administration Association all announced they would conduct probes to examine fraud committed by investment firm securities analysts.
Not surprisingly, the revelations of Goldman Sachs and its analysts' blatant misrepresentations, the ongoing governmental investigations, the specter of costly class action lawsuits and regulatory fines caused a substantial decline in the price of Goldman Sachs stock. As news of the conflicts of interest emerged, the price of Goldman Sachs stock declined significantly, falling from $86.06 on April 8, 2002 when the Attorney General announced his intention to expand his probe of Merrill Lynch to the whole industry, to $81.24 on April 11, 2002, the day after the New York Attorney General fist named Goldman Sachs as a target of his investigation. By May 6, 2002 the price had fallen to $75.16 on news of a possible bond rating downgrade in response to the expanding scope of the investigations involving Goldman Sachs.
On February 23, 2004, the Court granted the motion to appoint Harvey Lapin as Lead Plaintiff and approved his selection the law firms of Kirby, McInerney & Squire LLP & Glancy & Binkow LLP as Lead Counsel. On March 11, 2004, the action was transferred from the District Court of Nevada to the Southern District of New York.
On June 30, 2004, the lead plaintiff filed a First Amended Class Action Complaint. The defendants responded by filing a motion to dismiss on August 30, 2004. On February 23, 2005, the motion to dismiss was granted without prejudice and the plaintiff was given leave to file a Second Amended Complaint. The plaintiff filed the Second Amended Complaint on February 25, 2004, and the defendants again responded by filing a motion to dismiss on March 24, 2005.
According to the Opinion and Order dated September 29, 2006, for the foregoing reasons, defendants' motion to dismiss as to Goldman defendants is denied. Defendant Paulson's motion to dismiss for section 10(b), Rule 10b-5, and section 20(a) claims is granted without prejudice. Plaintiff is given 30 days from the date of this opinion and order to seek leave to amend the complaint as to defendant Paulson.
The parties soon after engaged in the discovery phase, and on February 21, 2007, the plaintiff filed a motion to certify the class. The motion was granted on September 15, 2008. On August 18, 2010, a proposed settlement was preliminarily approved.
According to a press release dated September 28, 2010, you are hereby notified, pursuant to an Order of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, that a hearing will be held on December 15, 2010, at 4:30 p.m., before The Honorable Richard J. Sullivan, at the Daniel P. Moynihan U.S. Courthouse, 500 Pearl Street, Courtroom 21C, New York, New York, for the purpose of determining (1) whether the proposed settlement of the claims in the Action for the sum of $29,000,000 in cash should be approved by the Court as fair, reasonable and adequate to Members of the Class; (2) whether, thereafter, this Action should be dismissed with prejudice pursuant to the terms and conditions set forth in the Settlement Agreement dated as of July 12, 2010; (3) whether the proposed plan to distribute the settlement proceeds (the "Plan of Allocation") is fair, reasonable and adequate and therefore should be approved; and (4) whether the application of Lead Counsel for the payment of attorneys' fees and expenses incurred in connection with this Action and reimbursement of Lead Plaintiff's reasonable costs and expenses (including lost wages) directly related to his representation of the Class should be approved.
On December 20, 2010, Judge Richard J. Sullivan signed the Final Judgment and Order of Dismissal With Prejudice. According to the Order, the action and all claims, contained herein, including all of the released claims, are dismissed with prejudice as to the Lead Plaintiff and the other Members of the Class, and as against each and all of the released persons. The parties are to bear their own costs, except as otherwise provided in the Settlement Agreement. The Court grants Lead Counsel Attorneys' fee of 33.3% of the Settlement Fund and expenses in the Amount of $829,200.58 together with interest, and the Court grants Lead Plaintiff reimbursement of his reasonable costs and expenses (including lost wages) directly related to his representation of the Class in the amount of $12,400.