According to the complaint, CBL is a real estate investment trust (“REIT”) that purports to be one of the largest and most active owners and developers of malls and shopping centers in the United States, owning, holding interests in, or managing more than 140 properties across 31 states. CBL is heavily reliant on external financing in order to acquire the assets that form the core of its business and to refinance its current assets on more favorable terms.
The complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, the defendants made false and/or misleading statements, and/or failed to disclose material facts about the company, including that: (1) certain of its employees may have provided material non-public information to Senator Robert Corker; and (2) the company failed to disclose to its shareholders that certain of its financing arrangements were obtained through fraud and/or misrepresentation.
The Class Period commences on August 8, 2013, when CBL announced its financial results for the three month period ending June 30, 2013.
According to the complaint, in November 2015, a political watchdog group filed a complaint with the SEC alleging that Tennessee Senator Robert Corker, who has significant personal ties to CBL, may have engaged in insider trading of CBL stock using material, non-public information. CBL was not a named party in that complaint and refrained from comment on the allegations against Senator Corker.
Then, on May 24, 2016, after the markets had closed, the Wall Street Journal reported that CBL is under investigation by both the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) and the SEC for allegedly inflating the company’s “rental income and occupancy rates for its properties when providing those figures to banks” when applying for financing arrangements, according to former CBL employees who have been questioned by the federal agencies. The article also claimed that “FBI and SEC officials have also separately asked questions about the relationship between the company and Mr. Corker, who is close with senior executives at the firm and has made millions of dollars in profits trading the company’s stock in recent years.”
Following this news, CBL’s stock fell by $0.86, nearly 9% on heavy volume, to close at $9.40 on May 25, 2016. This represented a loss in market capitalization of approximately $150 million.
If you are a member of the class described above, you may no later than July 26, 2016 move the Court to serve as lead plaintiff of the class, if you so choose.
A lead plaintiff is a representative party that acts on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation. In order to be appointed lead plaintiff, the Court must determine that the class member’s claim is typical of the claims of other class members, and that the class member will adequately represent the class. Your ability to share in any recovery is not, however, affected by the decision whether or not to serve as a lead plaintiff. Any member of the purported class may move the court to serve as a lead plaintiff through counsel of their choice, or may choose to do nothing and remain an inactive class member.
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