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Evan R. Hoey

Associate

D   484.270.1438
F   610.667.7056

Evan Hoey, an associate of the Firm, focuses his practice in securities litigation.

Experience

Current Cases

  • CASE CAPTION In re Acuity Brands, Inc. Securities Litigation
    COURT United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
    CASE NUMBER 1:18-cv-02140-MHC
    JUDGE Honorable Mark H. Cohen
    PLAINTIFF Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi
    DEFENDANTS Acuity Brands, Inc., Vernon J. Nagel, Richard K. Reece, & Mark A. Black
    CLASS PERIOD October 7, 2017 to April 3, 2017, inclusive

    This securities fraud class action arises from Acuity’s false and misleading statements regarding its ability to sustain the growth rate it experienced from 2010 to 2015.

    From 2010 to 2015, Acuity experienced a rapid growth rate fueled by the recovery in non-residential construction following the 2008 financial crisis and a wide transition to LED lighting. Acuity’s relationship with The Home Depot created a strong foundation for its extraordinary sales growth, as the Company experienced nine consecutive quarters of record growth. However, by the middle of 2015, competitive pressures in the lighting industry, including increased competition from overseas suppliers, lower LED prices, and a failure to break into the smart lighting solutions market, as well as a dramatic decline in sales to The Home Depot, slowed the Company’s growth considerably. Acuity’s investors were kept in the dark about all of these fundamental developments while the Defendants materially misrepresented Acuity’s ability to maintain the growth rate that it experienced in the previous five years.

    Acuity’s declining growth rate was revealed to the public gradually when the Company reported three consecutive quarters of below-expectation results. Acuity’s stock prices deteriorated, causing massive losses to shareholders.

    Plaintiff filed a Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint on behalf of a putative class of investors, alleging that Acuity, Vernon Nagel, and Richard Reece violated Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act by making materially false and misleading statements regarding the growth rate of Acuity; and that Nagel, Reece, and Mark Black as controlling persons of Acuity violated Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act. On August 12, 2019, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia granted in part and denied in part Defendants’ motion to dismiss.

    On August 25, 2020, Plaintiff’s motion for class certification was granted, certifying the following class: “All persons who invested in the publicly traded common stock of Acuity Brands, Inc. between October 7, 2015, through April 3, 2017 (the ‘Class Period’) and were damaged thereby.” The Court appointed Plaintiff, the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi, as Class Representative; and Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check and Labaton Sucharow as Class Counsel. 

    On December 2, 2021, Plaintiff filed a motion seeking preliminary approval of a $15.75 million dollar settlement to resolve all claims against Defendants. On December 23, 2021, the District Court granted that motion, and scheduled the final approval hearing for June 3, 2022.

    Read Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint Here

    Read Order Denying Motion to Dismiss Here

    Read Order Granting Motion for Class Certification Here

  •   CASE CAPTION Sjunde AP-Fonden, et al., v. General Electric Company, et al.
      COURT United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
      CASE NUMBER 1:17-cv-08457-JMF
      JUDGE Honorable Jesse M. Furman
      PLAINTIFF  Sjunde AP-Fonden and The Cleveland Bakers and Teamsters Pension Fund
      DEFENDANTS General Electric Company and Jeffrey S. Bornstein
      CLASS PERIOD March 2, 2015 through January 23, 2018, inclusive

    This securities fraud class action case arises out of alleged misrepresentations made by General Electric (“GE”) and its former Chief Financial Officer, Jeffrey S. Bornstein (together, “Defendants”), regarding the use of factoring to conceal cash flow problems that existed within GE Power between March 2, 2015, and January 24, 2018 (the “Class Period”).

    GE Power is the largest business in GE’s Industrials operating segment. The segment constructs and sells power plants, generators, and turbines, and also services such assets through long term service agreements (“LTSAs”). In the years leading up to the Class Period, as global demand for traditional power waned, so too did GE’s sales of gas turbines and its customer’s utilization of existing GE-serviced equipment.  These declines drove down GE Power’s earnings under its LTSAs associated with that equipment.  This was because GE could only collect cash from customers when certain utilization levels were achieved or upon some occurrence within the LTSA, such as significant service work.

    Plaintiffs allege that in an attempt to make up for these lost earnings, GE modified existing LTSAs to increase its profit margin and then utilized an accounting technique known as a “cumulative catch-up adjustment” to book immediate profits based on that higher margin.  In most instances, GE recorded those cumulative catch-up earnings on its income statement long before it could actually invoice customers and collect cash under those agreements. This contributed to a growing gap between GE’s recorded non-cash revenues (or “Contract Assets”) and its industrial cash flows from operating activities (“Industrial CFOA”).  

    In order to conceal this increasing disparity, Plaintiffs allege that GE increased its reliance on receivables factoring (i.e., selling future receivables, including on LTSAs, to GE Capital or third parties for immediate cash).  Through factoring, GE pulled forward future cash flows and, in light of the steep concessions it often agreed to in order to factor a receivable, traded away future revenues for immediate cash.  In stark contrast to the true state of affairs within GE Power—and in violation of Item 303 of Regulation S-K—GE’s Class Period financial statements did not disclose material facts regarding GE’s factoring practices, the true extent of the cash flow problems that GE was attempting to conceal through receivables factoring, or the risks associated with GE’s reliance on factoring.  Rather, Defendants affirmatively misled investors about the purpose of the Company’s factoring practices, claiming that such practices were aimed at managing credit risk, not liquidity

    Eventually, however, GE could no longer rely on this unsustainable practice to conceal its weak Industrial cash flows.  As the truth was gradually revealed to investors—in the form of, among other things, disclosures of poor Industrial cash flows, massive reductions in Industrial CFOA guidance, and a dividend cut that was attributable in part to weaker-than-expected Industrial cash flows—GE’s stock price plummeted, causing substantial harm to Plaintiffs and the Class. 

    In January 2021, the Court sustained Plaintiffs’ claims based on allegations that GE failed to disclose material facts relating its practice of and reliance on factoring, in violation of Item 303, and affirmatively misled investors about the purpose of GE’s factoring practices.  In April 2022, following the completion of fact discovery, the Court granted Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification, certifying a Class of investors who purchased or otherwise acquired GE common stock between February 29, 2016 and January 23, 2018.  In that same order, the Court granted Plaintiffs’ motion for leave to amend their complaint to pursue claims based on an additional false statement made by Defendant Bornstein.  The parties are currently engaged in expert discovery. 

    Read Fifth Amended Consolidated Class Action Complaint Here

    Read Opinion and Order Granting and Denying in Part Motion to Dismiss Here

    Read Order Granting Motion for Class Certification and for Leave to Amend Here

  • CASE CAPTION          Sjunde AP-Fonden v. The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. et al.
    COURT United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
    CASE NUMBER 1:18-cv-12084-VSB
    JUDGE Honorable Vernon S. Broderick
    PLAINTIFF Sjunde AP-Fonden (“AP7”)
    DEFENDANTS The Goldman Sachs Group (“Goldman Sachs” or the “Company”), Lloyd C. Blankfein, Gary D. Cohn, and Harvey M. Schwartz
    CLASS PERIOD February 28, 2014 to December 20, 2018, inclusive

    This securities fraud class action case arises out of Goldman Sachs’ role in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (“1MDB”) money laundering scandal, one of the largest financial frauds in recent memory.

    In 2012 and 2013, Goldman served as the underwriter for 1MDB, the Malaysia state investment fund masterminded by financier Jho Low, in connection with three state-guaranteed bond offerings that raised over $6.5 billion. Goldman netted $600 million in fees for the three bond offerings—over 100 times the customary fee for comparable deals.

    In concert with Goldman, Low and other conspirators including government officials from Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates ran an expansive bribery ring, siphoning $4.5 billion from the bond deals that Goldman peddled as investments for Malaysian state energy projects. In actuality, the deals were shell transactions used to facilitate the historic money laundering scheme. Nearly $700 million of the diverted funds ended up in the private bank account of Najib Razak, Malaysia’s now-disgraced prime minister who was convicted for abuse of power in 2020. Other funds were funneled to Low and his associates and were used to buy luxury real estate in New York and Paris, super yachts, and even help finance the 2013 film “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

    AP7 filed a 200-page complaint in October 2019 on behalf of a putative class of investors alleging that Goldman and its former executives, including former CEO Lloyd Blankfein and former President Gary Cohn, violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act by making false and misleading statements about Goldman’s role in the 1MDB fraud. As alleged, when media reports began to surface about the collapse of 1MDB, Goldman denied any involvement in the criminal scheme. Simultaneously, Goldman misrepresented its risk controls and continued to falsely tout the robustness of its compliance measures. Following a series of revelations about investigations into allegations of money laundering and corruption at 1MDB, Goldman’s stock price fell precipitously, causing significant losses and damages to the Company’s investors.

    In October 2020, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that Goldman’s Malaysia subsidiary had pled guilty to violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) which criminalizes the payment of bribes to foreign officials, and that Goldman had agreed to pay $2.9 billion pursuant to a deferred prosecution agreement. This amount includes the largest ever penalty under the FCPA.

    On June 28, 2021, The Honorable Vernon S. Broderick of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York sustained Plaintiffs’ complaint in a 44-page published opinion.  Plaintiffs moved for class certification in November 2021.  That motion is fully briefed and pending before the Court. The case is in fact discovery.

    Read Second Amended Class Action Complaint Here

    Read Opinion and Order Granting and Denying in Part Motion to Dismiss Here 

    Read Motion for Class Certification Here

  • CASE CAPTION                                    Carmignac Gestion, S.A. v. Perrigo Co. plc, et al.; First Manhattan Co. v. Perrigo Co. plc, et al.; Nationwide Mutual Funds, on behalf of its series Nationwide Geneva Mid Cap Growth and Nationwide S&P 500 Index Fund, et al. v. Perrigo Co. plc, et al.; Aberdeen Canada Funds – Global Equity Fund, a series of Aberdeen Canada Funds, et al. v. Perrigo Co. plc, et al.; Schwab Capital Trust on behalf of its series Schwab S&P 500 Index Fund, Schwab Total Stock Market Index Fund, Schwab Fundamental U.S. Large Company Index Fund, and Schwab Health Care Fund, et al. v. Perrigo Co. plc, et al.; Principal Funds, Inc., et al. v. Perrigo Co. plc, et al.; and Kuwait Investment Authority, et al. v. Perrigo Co. plc, et al.
    COURT United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
    CASE NUMBER No. 2:17-cv-10467-MCA-LDW; No. 2:18-cv-02291-MCA-LDW; No. 2:18-cv-15382-MCA-LDW; No. 2:19-cv-06560-MCA-LDW; No. 2:19-cv-03973-MCA-LDW; No. 2:20-cv-02410-MCA-LDW; No. 2:20-cv-03431-MCA-LDW
    JUDGE Honorable Madeline Cox Arleo and Honorable Leda Dunn Wettre
    PLAINTIFF

    Carmignac Gestion, S.A., First Manhattan Co., Schwab Capital Trust, et al., Principal Funds, Inc., Kuwait Investment Authority, et al., Nationwide Mutual Funds, et al., and Aberdeen Canada Funds – Global Equity Fund, et al.

    DEFENDANTS Perrigo Company plc (“Perrigo”), Joseph C. Papa, and Judy L. Brown
    CLASS PERIOD April 21, 2015 through May 3, 2017, inclusive

    These seven shareholder opt-out actions stem from drug maker Perrigo’s efforts to mislead investors to stave off a hostile takeover bid by pharmaceutical rival Mylan in 2015.  The plaintiff investment funds allege that Perrigo and its senior officers misrepresented the true state of the company’s $4.5 billion acquisition of Omega Pharma, an over-the-counter healthcare company based in Belgium, and fraudulently touted its ability to withstand pricing pressure from the influx of competing drugs in the generic drug markets.

    In 2018, we filed the first of these actions in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey on behalf of institutional investors in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Kuwait.  The Honorable Madeline Cox Arleo denied Defendants’ motions to dismiss the actions in 2019.  The parties concluded discovery in November 2021 and are awaiting summary judgment motion practice.

    Read Charles Schwab v. Perrigo Amended Complaint Here

    Read First Manhattan v. Perrigo Amended Complaint Here

    Read First Manhattan v. Perrigo Motion to Dismiss Opinion Here 

    Read Kuwait v. Perrigo Complaint Here 

    Read Nationwide v. Perrigo Complaint Here

    Read Nationwide v. Perrigo Motion to Dismiss Opinion Here

    Read Principal v. Perrigo Complaint Here 

    Read Aberdeen v. Perrigo Complaint Here

    Read Carmignac Gestion v. Perrigo Complaint Here

    Read Carmignac Gestion v. Perrigo Motion to Dismiss Opinion Here

  • CASE CAPTION  Washtenaw County Employees' Retirement System v Walgreen Co., et al.
    COURT United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
    CASE NUMBER 1:15-cv-03187
    JUDGE Honorable Sharon Johnson Coleman
    PLAINTIFF Industriens Pensionsforsikring A/S (“Industriens”)
    DEFENDANTS Walgreen Co. (“Walgreen” or the “Company”), Gregory D. Wasson, and Wade Miquelon
    CLASS PERIOD March 25, 2014 through August 5, 2014, inclusive

    This securities fraud class action case arises out of Defendants’ representations and omissions regarding Walgreen’s highly publicized earnings target of $9 billion to $9.5 billion for fiscal year 2016 (the “FY16 target”) and the negative impact of hyperinflation in generic drug prices (“generic inflation”) combined with unfavorable reimbursement contracts that caused significant reductions in Walgreen’s gross margins and earnings. During the Class Period, Defendants repeatedly reaffirmed the FY16 target and represented that Walgreen was seeing “nothing unusual” with respect to generic inflation or reimbursement pressure. Plaintiff alleges that unbeknownst to investors, the systemic shift to generic inflation caused a catastrophic impact on Walgreen’s earnings and profitability because it was “locked up” in multi-year contracts with lower reimbursement rates that did not protect against generic inflation.

    Industriens filed a 124-page complaint in August 2015 on behalf of a proposed class of investors alleging that Walgreen and its former executives, CEO Greg Wasson and CFO Wade Miquelon, violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act by making false and misleading statements and concealing material facts about the magnitude and severity of generic inflation and reimbursement pressure and the combined impact on Walgreens’ margins and profitability, including the FY16 target. As alleged, following Walgreens’ disclosure of a $2 billion shortfall to its FY16 EBIT target as a direct result of generic inflation and reimbursement pressure, Walgreens’s stock price fell precipitously, causing significant losses and damages to the Company’s investors.

    In September 2016, the Honorable Sharon Johnson Coleman issued an order denying in part Defendants’ motion to dismiss. In March 2018, Judge Coleman certified the case as a class action. Following Industriens’s amendment of the complaint in December 2018, Judge Coleman issued an order in September 2019 denying in part Defendants’ renewed motion to dismiss. The order held that Plaintiff’s amended complaint adequately alleged several additional false and misleading statements and omissions, including statements regarding the FY16 target and the negative impact of generic inflation and reimbursement pressure on the Company’s performance.

    On November 2, 2021, the Court issued a Memorandum and Opinion and Order denying in large part Defendants’ motion for summary judgment, clearing the case to proceed to trial.

    Read First Amended Consolidated Complaint Here

    Read WCERS v. Walgreen Opinion and Order Granting Class Certification Here

    Read WCERS v. Walgreen Opinion and Order Granting Motion to Dismiss 

    Read WCERS v. Walgreen Opinion and Order Granting Motions for Summary Judgement Here