Plaintiffs in a class action have entered into a settlement with a number of third parties who are alleged to have participated in or materially aided sales of securities by the now-defunct Aequitas companies of Lake Oswego, Oregon. The settlement totals $234.6 million and is on behalf of approximately 1,600 investors. It is believed to be the largest settlement of a securities lawsuit in Oregon history.
The complaint in the class action lawsuit alleges that the Aequitas companies operated a Ponzi scheme from 2010 until finally collapsing and being shut down by the SEC in March 2016. Aequitas sold hundreds of millions of dollars of securities and perpetuated the scheme for years, despite generating no profits, being dependent on new investor money, having no prospects for increasing revenues, and being insolvent.
The settling parties are the accounting firms Deloitte & Touche and EisnerAmper; law firms Sidley Austin and Tonkon Torp; TD Ameritrade; Integrity Bank & Trust of Colorado; and Duff & Phelps.
The case is captioned Ciuffitelli et al. v. Deloitte & Touche LLP, et al., No. 3:16-cv-00580-AC (U.S. District Court, Portland, Oregon).
This blog is intended to provide information to the general public and to practitioners about developments that may impact Oregon class actions.