The US Supreme Court has just listened to oral argument about how the Fifth Circuit appeals court interprets the breadth of the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act’s (SLUSA), which precludes the majority of state class action cases involving plaintiffs claiming misrepresentations related to the buying or selling of a security that it covers. The case stems from Allen Stanford’s $7B Ponzi scam, in which one of his banks put out certificates of deposit that were supposedly safe, liquid investments when, in reality, the investments did not exist. The bank used money from new CD sales to issue redemption payments and interest on older CDs.
Following the discovery of the Stanford securities shame, two sets of investors filed securities fraud cases in Louisiana court against several Stanford companies and employees contending law had been violated. The defendants got the cases sent to federal court.
The securities lawsuits were then sent to the Northern District of Texas, which threw out the fraud lawsuits on the grounds that SLUSA precluded them. That court said that the CDs weren’t covered but that the investors had alleged misrepresentations having to do with securities that were covered. The Stanford bank had claimed it invested in securities that were issued by multinational companies and solid governments and led investors to think investments SLUSA-covered securities at least partially backed the CDs. he Fifth Circuit then reversed that decision.
Now, the US Supreme Court must determine whether the class action securities cases can move forward despite SLUSA preclusion of “covered class actions” involving a private party claiming there has been a misrepresentation/omission of a material fact related to the selling or buying of a covered security.
Our Ponzi fraud lawyers represent clients that have suffered losses from Ponzi scams and other financial schemes, including elder financial fraud, affinity schemes, pump-and-dump scams, and others. Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD LLP represents institutional and individual investors.