NEW YORK–LAWFUEL – Legal News, Class Actions News –Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP filed today a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, on behalf of all persons who purchased the common stock of TOP Tankers, Inc. (“TOP Tankers” or the “Company”) [NASDAQ:TOPT] between June 28, 2005 and November 28, 2006, inclusive (the “Class Period”), against defendants TOP Tankers, and certain of its officers and directors, including Evangelos J. Pistiolis and Stamatios N. Tsantanis, alleging violations under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C. Section 78j(b), and 78t(a) and Rule 10b-5, promulgated thereunder, 17 C.F.R. Section 240.10b-5 (the “Class”).
The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, defendants issued numerous, positive press releases, statements and quarterly financial reports filed with the SEC that described the Company’s financial performance.
During the Class Period, defendants issued numerous positive press releases, statements, and financial reports describing the Company’s strong financial performance. These statements were materially false and misleading because they failed to disclose that: (a) the Company improperly accounted for certain sale and leaseback transactions by recognizing gains prior to the receipt of payments; (b) the Company’s financial statements violated Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and SEC reporting rules; (c) the Company lacked adequate internal controls and procedures necessary to properly engage in its complex commercial transactions; and (d) as a result of the foregoing, the Company’s financial results were materially overstated at all relevant times.
On November 29, 2006, before the market opened, TOP Tankers disclosed that its auditors, Ernst & Young, LLP resigned as the Company’s independent auditors due to a disagreement regarding the accounting treatment of certain sale and leaseback transactions for thirteen vessels in March and April of 2006. The Company further revealed that it would be forced to restate its interim unaudited financial statements for the first and second quarters of 2006 in order to retroactively eliminate reported earnings.
Following this news, TOP Tankers stock dropped 14%, or $0.82, in a single day on unusually heavy trading volume to close at $5.04 on November 29, 2006. This sharp decline caused material harm to investors, including Plaintiff and other purchasers of TOP Tankers’ stock during the Class Period.
As a result of the dissemination of the false and misleading statements set forth above, the market price of TOP Tankers common stock was artificially inflated during the Class Period. In ignorance of the false and misleading nature of the statements described above, and the deceptive and manipulative devices and contrivances employed by said defendants, plaintiffs and the other members of the Class relied, to their detriment, on the integrity of the market price of the options in purchasing TOP Tankers common stock. Had plaintiffs and the other members of the Class known the truth, they would not have purchased said common stock, or would not have purchased them at the inflated prices that were paid.
The case name is styled Abouelhiga v. TOP Tankers, Inc., et al. A copy of the complaint filed in this action is available from the Court, or can be viewed on the Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP website at www.whafh.com.
If you purchased TOP Tankers common stock during the Class Period, you may request that the Court appoint you as lead plaintiff by February 9, 2007.
A lead plaintiff is a representative party that acts on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation. In order to be appointed lead plaintiff, the Court must determine that the class member’s claim is typical of the claims of other class members, and that the class member will adequately represent the class. Under certain circumstances, one or more class members may together serve as “lead plaintiff.” Your ability to share in any recovery is not, however, affected by the decision whether or not to serve as a lead plaintiff. You may retain Wolf Haldenstein, or other counsel of your choice, to serve as your counsel in this action.
Wolf Haldenstein has extensive experience in the prosecution of securities class actions and derivative litigation in state and federal trial and appellate courts across the country. The firm has approximately 70 attorneys in various practice areas; and offices in Chicago, New York City, San Diego, Washington, D.C., and West Palm Beach. The reputation and expertise of this firm in shareholder and other class litigation has been repeatedly recognized by the courts, which have appointed it to major positions in complex securities multi-district and consolidated litigation.
If you wish to discuss this action or have any questions, please contact Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP at 270 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10016, by telephone at (800) 575-0735 (Gregory M. Nespole, Esq. or Derek Behnke), via e-mail at [email protected] or visit our website at www.whafh.com. All e-mail correspondence should make reference to TOP Tankers.