M&S was one of several law firms involved in In re AOL Time Warner, Inc. Securities Litigation, a consolidation of numerous lawsuits under the purview of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The complaint alleged that AOL and AOL Time Warner overstated advertising revenues by at least $1.7 billion from January 12, 2001 through July 24, 2002 through the use of sham transactions and improper accounting practices.
Plaintiffs alleged that these dishonest practices were designed to artificially inflate the price of AOL and AOL Time Warner securities, ensure the successful merger of AOL and Time Warner, and allowing the defendants to sell millions of AOL Time Warner shares at the artificially high prices their practices created.
On April 6, 2006 U.S. District Judge Shirley Wohl Kram granted final approval to a settlement awarding $2.65 billion to the plaintiffs. This sum represents one of the top five securities fraud class action settlements in legal history. M&S is proud to have played a part in this case which will benefit millions of shareholders who purchased or acquired AOL and Time Warner securities between January 27, 1999 and August 27, 2002