HARTFORD, Conn., May 30, 2007 LAWFUEL – The Law News Wire — The law firm of Schatz Nobel Izard, P.C., which has significant experience representing investors in prosecuting claims of securities fraud, announces that a lawsuit seeking class action status has been filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on behalf of all persons who purchased or otherwise acquired the common stock of Sterling Financial (“Sterling” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq:SLFI) between April 27, 2004 and May 24, 2007, inclusive (the “Class Period”).
The Complaint alleges that Sterling and Equipment Finance LLC (“EFI”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sterling, violated Federal Securities laws by engaging in a scheme to artificially inflate the price of Sterling stock. On April 19, 2007, Sterling disclosed that it was investigating “irregularities related to certain financing contracts” at EFI. Then on April 30, Sterling announced that based on an internal investigation related to EFI, it expected to restate financial statements for 2004 through 2006, and that all of Sterling’s financial statements and earnings releases issued during this period “should no longer be relied upon due to the expected material impact of these irregularities.”
After the markets had closed on May 24, Sterling issued a press release that disclosed that the “irregularities” at EFI were “a direct result of collusion by EFI employees,” and that Sterling had terminated five employees due to its investigation. According to the release, the investigation revealed evidence of a sophisticated loan scheme, orchestrated by certain EFI officers and employees to conceal credit delinquencies, falsify financing contracts and related documents, and subvert Sterling’s reporting systems.
On this news, Sterling common stock, which closed at $16.16 per share on May 24, fell $6.19 to close at $9.97 per share on May 25. During the Class Period, Sterling common stock traded as high as $30.39 per share.
If you are a member of the class, you may, no later than July 24, 2007, request that the Court appoint you as lead plaintiff of the class. A lead plaintiff is a class member that acts on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation. Although your ability to share in any recovery is not affected by the decision whether or not to seek appointment as a lead plaintiff, lead plaintiffs make important decisions which could affect the overall recovery for class members, including decisions concerning settlement. The securities laws require the Court to consider the class member(s) with the largest financial interest as presumptively the most adequate lead plaintiff(s).
While Schatz Nobel Izard, P.C. has not filed a lawsuit against the defendants, to view a copy of the Complaint initiating the class action or for more information about the case, class action cases in general, and your rights, please contact Schatz Nobel Izard, P.C. toll-free at
(800) 797-5499, or by e-mail at [email protected], or visit our website: