A district court judge has ordered Groupon Inc. to face a securities lawsuit filed against it accusing the deal-of-the-day coupon company of misleading investors regarding its financial state right before its IPO in 2011. The Illinois-based company had sought to have the securities fraud case brought by investor Michael Carter Cohn, dismissed. Cohn wants his claim to get class action securities status.
The investor claims that Groupon committed securities fraud and used refund accounting that was not allowed to spike revenues in a prospectus related to its initial public offerings, as well as in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. According to U.S. District Judge Charles Norgle in Chicago, the claims “present plausible violations.” Norgle also turned down requests by Morgan Stanley (MS) and Goldman Sachs (GS), and Credit Suisse (CS) to throw out the claims against them. These banks arranged the public offering.
On March 30, 2012-not long after opening at $28 in Nasdaq stock exchange trading on November 4, 2011-Groupon reported a “material weakness” in its financial controls, as well as first reported quarterly sales as a company that was now publicly traded were not as high as stated earlier because of high refunds received by merchants. This lowered revenue during 2011’s last quarter to $492 million-that’s a $14.3 million difference. The company’s shares by November 13, 2012 hit $2.63 dollars.
Judge Norgle has yet to decide on whether Cohn can pursue his securities case for a class. Cohn did not purchase his shares straight from the IPO.
At Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas, LTD LLP, our securities fraud lawyers represent institutional investors and individual investors wishing to pursue their investment losses from negligent parties. You can call us today to ask for your free case assessment.
Groupon fails to end lawsuit alleging fraud linked to IPO, Reuters, September 20, 2013
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