The U.S. District Court in Manhattan’s Judge Lewis A. Kaplan has approved a $40 million class action settlement in the residential mortgage-backed securities lawsuit against three individuals who used to be affiliated with Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (LEHMQ). The plaintiffs are pension and union groups, including Locals 302 and 612 of the International Union of Operating Engineers – Employers Construction Trust Fund, Boilermakers-Blacksmith National Pension Trust, and New Jersey Carpenters Health Fund. The deadline for class members to file their settlement claims is August 20, 2012.
The defendants, Samir Tabet, James J. Sullivan, and Mark L. Zusy, had previously worked for Lehman affiliate Structured Asset Securities Corp. They are accused of filing misleading Offering Documents about the credit quality of mortgage pass-through certificates that were worth billions of dollars. The certificates were issued in 2006 and 2007.
The plaintiffs had submitted their original institutional securities lawsuit prior to Lehman’s filing for bankruptcy in September 2008. This case is one of a number of class action complaints accusing the financial firm and its ex-executives of wrongdoing and negligence.
Per the terms of the RMBS settlement, the Lehman Brothers Estate is responsible for paying $8.3 million. Dow Jones News Services reports that an insurance policy for the financial firm’s ex-directors and former officers will pay the remaining $31.7 million.
When Lehman filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, this was considered a major catalyst for the global financial crisis that ensued. The firm, which emerged from bankruptcy protection this March, is now a liquidating company that is expected to spend the next years repaying its investors and creditors that have asserted over $300 billion in claims. Depending on the type of debt owed, a creditor may receive 21 cents/28 cents on the dollar. Also, Lehman is still a defendant in several securities lawsuits related to its bankruptcy and there are other claims against it that need to be resolved.
Last month, Judge Kaplan approved the use of $90 million in insurance to settle another lawsuit against Fuld, ex-finance chief Erin Callan, ex-president Joseph Gregory, former CFO Ian Lowitt, ex-chief risk officer Christopher O’Meara, and several former Lehman directors. The plaintiffs include pension funds, companies, and individuals located abroad. The investors had purchased $30 billion in Lehman debt and equity prior to the firm’s bankruptcy filing and their investments later failed.
Kaplan had initially refused to let the plaintiffs’ insurers pay the $90 million because he wanted to determine whether the securities settlement was a fair one. Now that the federal judge has signed off on it, the plaintiffs will not have to pay for the settlement out of pocket and they are released from the investors’ securities claims.
Judge Approves $40M Settlement with Ex-Lehman Execs, American Banker, June 22, 2012
The Lehman Settlement
Ex-Lehman Executives’ $90 Million Settlement Approved, Bloomberg, May 24, 2012
More Blog Posts:
Ex-Lehman Brothers Holdings Chief Executive Defends Request that Insurance Fund Pay Legal Bills, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, October 19, 2011
UBS Financial Services Fined $2.5M and Ordered to Pay $8.25M Over Lehman Brothers-Issued 100% Principal-Protection Notes, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, April 12, 2011
Lehman Brothers’ “Structured Products” Investigated by Stockbroker Fraud Law Firm Shepherd Smith Edwards & Kantas LTD LLP, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, September 30, 2008