NEW YORK-LAWFUEL – The Law News Network -Nov. 8, 2005–The law firm of Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman LLP announces that it has filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of purchasers of the securities of First BanCorp (“First BanCorp” or the “Company”) (NYSE: FBP – News) between March 31, 2003 and October 21, 2005 inclusive, (the “Class Period”), seeking to pursue remedies under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”). A copy of the complaint filed in this action is available from the Court, or can be viewed on Milberg Weiss’s website at www.milbergweiss.com
The action is pending in the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico against defendants First BanCorp, Angel Alvarez-Perez, and Annie Astor-Carbonell.
The Complaint alleges that Defendants orchestrated a massive accounting fraud through which they artificially inflated the price of First BanCorp stock. Defendants improperly accounted for mortgages purchased from other Puerto Rican banks in an effort to boost earnings and reduce necessary loan reserves beginning in 2000. As a result of its initial informal inquiry into the Company’s accounting practices, the SEC is now conducting a formal investigation into the Company’s treatment of certain loans it purchased from R&G Financial Corp. and other Puerto Rican banks during the period of 2000 to 2005. According to the Company’s October 21, 2005 press release, it may need to restate certain financial periods as far back as 2000 in order to correct the overstatement of earnings and understatement of reserves associated with the subject transactions. Furthermore, in the midst of the SEC’s investigation and the recent disclosure of a possible restatement, the CEO and CFO both resigned from the Company and are names as defendants in this action. As a result of the above disclosures, First BanCorp’s stock has plummeted 56% from its Class Period high of $32.09 to $14.03 after the truth was revealed on October 21, 2005.
If you bought the securities of First BanCorp between March 31, 2003 and October 21, 2005 and sustained damages, you may, no later than January 2, 2006, request that the Court appoint you as lead plaintiff. 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 Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman LLP, or other counsel of your choice, to serve as your counsel in this action.
Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman LLP (www.milbergweiss.com) has over 100 lawyers in offices in New York City, Boca Raton, Los Angeles, Delaware, and Washington, D.C. and is active in major litigations pending in federal and state courts throughout the United States. Milberg Weiss has taken a leading role in many important actions on behalf of defrauded investors, consumers, and others for nearly 40 years. Please contact the Milberg Weiss website for more information about the firm and its history. If you wish to discuss this action with us, or have any questions concerning this notice or your rights and interests with regard to the case, please contact the following attorneys:
Steven G. Schulman
One Pennsylvania Plaza, 49th fl.
New York, NY, 10119-0165
Phone number: (800) 320-5081
Email: [email protected]