SEATTLE, June 4, 2007 LAWFUEL – The Class Action & Litigation Newswire — Keller Rohrback L.L.P. (www.erisafraud.com) today announced that it is currently investigating Sterling Financial Corp. (“Sterling Financial” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq:SLFI) for potential Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) violations related to the Sterling Financial Corp. 401k Retirement Plan’s (the “Plan”) holdings of Company stock between April 27, 2004 and the present.
Keller Rohrback’s investigation focuses on whether Sterling Financial and the Plan’s administrators breached their fiduciary duties of loyalty and prudence to the Plan’s participants and beneficiaries under ERISA. A breach may have occurred if the fiduciaries failed to prudently manage the Plan’s assets, by among other things, offering Sterling Financial stock as a Plan investment option and investing and holding the Company performance incentive contributions in Sterling Financial stock at a time when the stock was not a suitable and appropriate investment option. A breach also may have occurred if the fiduciaries withheld or concealed material information from the Plan’s participants and beneficiaries with respect to the Company’s business, financial results and operations, thereby encouraging participants and beneficiaries to continue to make and maintain substantial investments of Company stock in the Plan.
On April 30, 2007, Sterling Financial announced that in its internal investigation the Company had received information suggesting “irregularities in certain financing contracts” at Equipment Finance LLC (“EFI”). As a result, Sterling Financial expected to restate financial statements for the years 2004 through 2006. Recently, on May 24, 2007, Sterling Financial announced that the “previously reported irregularities” at EFI were a “direct result of collusion” by certain EFI employees. The Company stated that as a result, it expects to record a cumulative after-tax charge to the December 31, 2006 financial statements of approximately $145 million to $165 million.
If you are a participant in or beneficiary of the Sterling Financial Corp. 401k Retirement Plan and you purchased or held Company stock in the Plan, you may contact paralegal Jennifer Tuato’o or attorneys Laura Gerber, Derek Loeser or Lynn Sarko toll free at 800/776-6044, or via e-mail at [email protected]
Keller Rohrback is one of America’s leading law firms handling ERISA retirement plan litigation. We are committed to helping employees and retirees protect their retirement savings. Keller Rohrback serves as lead and co-lead counsel in numerous ERISA class action cases, including cases against Enron, WorldCom, Inc., HealthSouth, and Marsh & McLennan Companies, as well as ERISA cash balance pension plan cases, including JP Morgan Chase & Co. Keller Rohrback has successfully provided class action representation for over a decade. Its trial lawyers have obtained judgments and settlements on behalf of clients in excess of seven billion dollars.