From wedding to, well, penitentiary.
In 2015, investors in Silver Wheaton Corporation ("Silver Wheaton" or the "Company") filed a securities fraud class action lawsuit against the Canadian company for concealing that the Company was facing a possible $207 million tax bill. Allegedly, Silver Wheaton failed to disclose the possibility of a tax reassessment by a Canada Revenue Agency ("CRA") audit. Silver Wheaton disclosed that the CRA has accused the Company of failing to pay taxes on $560 million in taxable income from 2005 to 2010 by wrongly attributing that income to its subsidiary in the Cayman Islands, which does not tax foreign corporate profits. Investors allege the Company and its officials knew or should have known about the potential tax liabilities, and illegally hid the Company's true financial information in order to inflate stock prices.
Although it might have reasonably seemed to many plaintiffs involved in a tough and protracted litigation battle that their lawsuit alleging wrongdoing on the part of a major global company would never end, it finally did.
Many people across the country do not fully understand what is meant by the term "whistleblower" in the employment law context.
A class action lawsuit is readily identifiable as litigation where the common interests of a large number of plaintiffs are implicated and where it would both inconvenient and prohibitively costly for a single individual or entity to commence a claim for damages. Product liability cases are frequently pointed to as typical class action examples, as are securities cases alleging wrongdoing that has harmed many investors.
A Brazilian aerospace company, Embraer SA ("Embraer" or the "Company"), has agreed to pay $205 million to settle bribery claims involving the governments of the Dominican Republic, Saudi Arabia and Mozambique that were brought forth by U.S. authorities. The lawsuit also alleged that the Company made illegal payments to the Indian military. The U.S. Department of Justice will receive $107 million, $98 million to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), and $20 million will go to the Brazilian authorities, all as disgorgement of Embraer's illegal profits. The Company also agreed to improve its compliance function, as well as allowing itself to be monitored for a three-year period as part of a deferred prosecution agreement. Although Embraer received credit for its cooperation with the government, the Company could have paid even less if had it adequately punished an executive who allegedly knew and took part in the Company's illegal actions.
Securities law -- its rules, processes, enforcement mechanisms and related tangents -- is understandably complex.
A group of investors were denied class certification after claiming that UBS AGs Puerto Rican affiliate ("UBS Puerto Rico" or the "Company") downplayed the risks involved in investing and operated in a manner that twisted the market to allow the Company more control over its closed-end mutual funds. U.S. District Judge Carmen Consuelo Cerezo concurred with U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce J. McGiverin, who recommended the denial of class certification saying that each individual investor needed to show that they relied on the alleged misstatements.
Wells Fargo & Co. ("Wells Fargo" or the "Company") came under fire for a scandal involving its employees creating accounts for customers without their knowledge to meet standards that were being set by the Company. As a response to the scandal, Wells Fargo has paid a settlement of $185 million in restitution to the customers affected by the fake accounts and unfair charges. It also fired 5,300 employees over the last few years in an attempt to end any unethical behavior.
Germane data relevant to class action litigation activity is always notable and of material interest in Connecticut and across the United States, given that it sheds light on alleged corporate malfeasance and the level of plaintiff filings in state and federal courts.