Credit Suisse Ordered to Pay STMicroelectronics N.V. $404M Over Improper ARS Investment

In STMicroelectronics N.V. v. Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, 2d Cir., No. 10-3847-cv, 6/2/11, the US U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld an arbitration panel’s award against Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC for $405 million. The financial firm was accused of improperly investing STMicroelectronics N.V. (STM)’s money in high-risk auction-rate securities.

The court says that Credit Suisse offered ST the opportunity to invest in ARS in April 2006 even though the business needed to have cash or its equivalents easily at hand due to the cyclical nature of what it does. Prior to that, ST had invested its funds in safe, liquid securities, including money market deposits.

The court says that the financial firm “explicitly proposed” ARS investments and ST “explicitly accepted” investing only in these securities, which were supported by student loans that were federally guaranteed. Yet within a few days, the court says that Credit Suisse started buying higher yield, higher risk ARS for ST.

By January 2007, none of the ARS were backed by student loans anymore. Yet the financial firm sent an email to ST that concealed the investments “true nature.” All of ST’s ARS failed after the market collapsed and two of the Credit Suisse brokers in charge of the ST account would go on to be convicted of conspiracy and securities fraud charges.

ST later Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitration claim against Credit Suisse. The U.S. District Court for Southern District of New York later confirmed the panel’s $406 million.

In its appeal, Credit Suisse attacked the award, claiming that arbitrator John J. Duval Sr. gave inaccurate and incomplete disclosures and was misleading because he suggested that he “worked for ‘both sides,’” when he actually was an expert witness for the claimants. The court rejected that contention. Credit Suisse also accused the arbitrators of “manifestly disregarding” the law when it reached its finding. The court rejected this contention too. The appeals court did, however, find that the district court should have credited the amount of the award funds that ST got from the sale of certain Deutsche Bank securities and, as a result, lowered the amount of interest due.

Credit Suisse Must Pay Tech Firm $404M, BNA Securities Law Daily, June 3, 2011

STMicroelectronics N.V. v. Credit Suisse Securities

More Blog Posts:

Credit Suisse Broker Previously Convicted for Selling High Risk ARS is Barred from Future Securities Law Violations, Institutional Investors Securities Blog, February 12, 2011

District Court in Texas Decides that Credit Suisse Securities Doesn’t Have to pay Additional $186,000 Arbitration Award to Luby’s Restaurant Over ARS, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, June 2, 2011

Judge Gives Lower Sentence to Former Credit Suisse Broker Convicted of Auction-Rate Securities Fraud, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, January 30, 2010

Contact our securities fraud lawyers at Shepherd Smith Edwards & Kantas LTD LLP today.