Scores of hardworking Americans have suffered losses in their pension funds, retirement accounts and college and general savings accounts as a result of corporate fraud, including at Enron, WorldCom and AOL Time Warner.
We believe that investors deserve zealous representation in their fight for a return of those assets, and work to provide fraud recovery and portfolio monitoring for institutional investors. By tracking warning signs and assessing the risk to holdings, we can make recommendations on what, if any, action should be taken by the investor. Our monitoring service provides information and expertise to the institutional investor and its trustees in assessing the risks posed by business fraud and other corporate misconduct.
And our approach works. Founding partner Cyrus Mehri has represented shareholders in securities class actions since the late 1980s, and has a long history of representing defrauded investors, pensioners and consumers, as well as small businesses subjected to price-fixing. His extensive experience includes recovering assets for those involved in the elaborate scandals involving junk bonds committed by Ivan Boesky and Michael Milken in the 1980′s, as well as savings and loan institutions. In addition, Mr. Mehri served as class counsel in Florin v. NationsBank in 1993, which restored $16 million to a pension plan that was bilked by company insiders at Simmons Mattress Company. And in 1991, In re Bolar Pharmaceutical Co. he helped to return over $25 million to defrauded shareholders. Mr. Mehri was also the principal attorney in Roosevelt v. E. I. Dupont de Nemours and Co., which established the right for shareholders to go to federal court to require corporations to include proxy resolutions.
Mehri & Skalet was also 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.
Settlement. 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
Mr. Mehri has also co-authored a series of articles on securities enforcement and corporate governance including Labor & Corporate Governance articles entitled “Stock Option Equity: Building Democracy While Building Wealth” (November 2002) and “The Latest Retreat By The SEC” (February 2003). Mr. Mehri also co-authored an article in The Journal of Investment Compliance (Winter 2002/2003) entitled “Slipping Back to Business as Usual, Six Months After the Passage of Sarbanes-Oxley.” In addition, Mr. Mehri co-authored a letter to the SEC regarding diversity in Board appointments.
Our experiences in the shareholder arena and on behalf of employees place us in a unique position to help protect shareholder assets.