NEW YORK, May 08, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C., a nationally recognized shareholder rights law firm, reminds investors that class actions have been commenced on behalf of stockholders of Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. (NYSE: IIPR), Natera, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTRA), Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE: CS), and Riskified Ltd. (NYSE: RSKD). Stockholders have until the deadlines below to petition the court to serve as lead plaintiff. Additional information about each case can be found at the link provided.
Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. (NYSE: IIPR)
Class Period: May 7, 2020 – April 13, 2022
Lead Plaintiff Deadline: June 24, 2022
On April 14, 2022, market researcher Blue Orca Capital released a report describing the Company as “a marijuana bank masquerading as a REIT. IIPR’s model is to conduct sale-leaseback transactions with cannabis producers who are otherwise prohibited from borrowing money because of federal regulations.” The report further noted that “[u]nlike with other REITs, IIPR cannot expect to recover the lost income from defaulting tenants because it appears that the actual value of its properties are substantially below their carrying value on the IIPR’s balance sheet.”
On this news, the Company’s share price fell $13.76 per share, or 7.5%, to close at $169.68 per share on April 14, 2022.
According to the complaint, during the class period, defendants touted its rigorous underwriting standards and extensive experience in the cannabis industry. They also stated that the Company’s organization and operations qualify it to be taxed as a REIT for U.S federal income tax purposes. Notwithstanding, defendants failed to disclose that the value of the Company’s properties are significantly lower than represented and that the Company’s focus is to be a cannabis company lender rather than a REIT. Further, Innovative Industrial Properties’ top customers may not be able to continue making payments and the Company would face significant issues replacing those customers.
For more information on the IIPR class action go to: https://bespc.com/cases/IIPR
Natera, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTRA)
Class Period: February 26, 2020 – April 19, 2022
Lead Plaintiff Deadline: June 27, 2022
Natera, a Delaware corporation with principal executive offices in Austin, Texas, offers genetic testing in the areas of women’s health, oncology, and organ health. Among other things, the Company produces and markets a non-invasive prenatal test (“NIPT”) called “Panorama,” and a screening test for kidney transplant failure called “Prospera.” Natera’s common stock trades on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol “NTRA.”
Throughout the Class Period, Defendants repeatedly assured investors that Panorama was reliable, that Prospera was more accurate than competing tests, and that Natera’s growth was driven by its superior technology and customer experience.
However, investors began to learn the truth on January 1, 2022, when The New York Times published a detailed report calling into question the accuracy of certain prenatal tests manufactured by Natera and other diagnostic testing companies. Among other things, The New York Times reported that Natera’s positive results for several genetic disorders were incorrect more than 80 percent of the time.
On this news, the price of Natera common stock fell $5.35 per share, or approximately 6% over two trading days, from a close of $93.39 per share on December 31, 2021, to close at $88.04 per share on January 4, 2022.
Less than two weeks later, on January 14, 2022, the Campaign for Accountability— a nonprofit watchdog group—filed a complaint with the SEC requesting an investigation as to whether “Natera repeatedly claimed – in marketing materials and earnings calls – that [its] tests are much more reliable than it appears they really are.”
On this news, the price of Natera common stock fell $6.29 per share, or more than 9%, from a close of $67.37 per share on January 14, 2022, to close at $61.08 per share on January 18, 2022.
Then, on March 9, 2022, Hindenburg Research (“Hindenburg”) issued an investigative report (the “Hindenburg Report”) alleging, among other things, that “Natera’s revenue growth has been fueled by deceptive sales and billing practices aimed at doctors, insurance companies and expectant mothers.”
On this news, the price of Natera common stock fell as much as $28.65 per share, or more than 52%, from a close of $54.75 per share on March 8, 2022, to an intra-day low of $26.10 per share on March 9, 2022.
On March 14, 2022, a jury found that Natera had intentionally and willfully misled the public by utilizing false advertisements to market Prospera in violation of the federal Lanham Act, the Delaware Deceptive Trade Practices Act, and Delaware common law. Among other things, the jury found that Natera’s marketing falsely claimed that Prospera was more accurate than the competing kidney transplant testing offered by CareDx, Inc. (“CareDx”). Ultimately, the jury awarded CareDx $44.9 million in monetary damages.
On this news, Natera common stock fell as much as $8.81 per share, or approximately 22.5%, from an intra-day high of $39.13 per share on March 14, 2022, to close at $30.32 per share on March 15, 2022.
On April 19, 2022, the United States Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) issued a safety communication “to educate patients and health care providers and to help reduce the inappropriate use of [NIPTs].” The FDA cautioned that statements about NIPTs’ reliability and accuracy “may not be supported with sound scientific evidence” and revealed the existence of “cases where a screening test reported a genetic abnormality and a confirmatory diagnostic test later found that the fetus was healthy.” The FDA suggested that patients discuss benefits and risks with a healthcare provider before deciding to undergo NIPT or making any pregnancy-related decisions on the basis of NIPT results. In addition, the FDA advised health care providers that they should not rely on NIPT results alone to diagnose chromosomal abnormalities or disorders.
On this news, the price of Natera common stock fell as much as $1.53 per share, or approximately 3.9%, from an intra-day high of $39.63 per share on April 19, 2022, to close at $38.10 per share on April 20, 2022.
This Complaint alleges that, throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and/or misleading statements, as well as failed to disclose material adverse facts, about the Company’s business and operations. Specifically, Defendants misrepresented and/or failed to disclose: (1) Panorama was not reliable and resulted in high rates of false positives; (2) Prospera did not have superior precision compared to competing tests; (3) as a result of Defendants’ false and misleading claims about Natera’s technology, the Company was exposed to substantial legal and regulatory risks; (4) Natera relied upon deceptive sales and billing practices to drive its revenue growth; and (5) as a result of the foregoing, Defendants’ statements about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects lacked a reasonable basis.
As a result of Defendants’ wrongful acts and omissions, and the significant decline in the market value of the Company’s securities, Plaintiff and other members of the Class have suffered significant damages
For more information on the Natera class action go to: https://bespc.com/cases/NTRA
Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE: CS)
Class Period: March 19, 2021 – March 25, 2022
Lead Plaintiff Deadline: June 28, 2022
Credit Suisse, together with its subsidiaries, provides various financial services in Switzerland, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Americas, and Asia Pacific. The Company offers private banking and wealth management solutions, including advisory, investment, financial planning, succession planning, and trust services, and financing and lending, and multi-shore platform solutions.
Credit Suisse has a history of business dealings with Russian oligarchs, or ultra-high net worth business leaders possessing significant political influence. For example, an article published by Financial Times on February 7, 2022, entitled “Credit Suisse securitizes yacht loans to oligarchs and tycoons”, cited a recent investor presentation for a synthetic securitization deal, in which Credit Suisse sold off $80 million worth of risk related to a $2 billion portfolio of loans backed by assets owned by certain of the bank’s ultra-high net worth clients (the “Securitization Deal”), which disclosed that, in 2017 and 2018, Credit Suisse experienced 12 defaults on yacht and aircraft loans, a third of which were related to U.S. sanctions against Russian oligarchs. Press reports at the time indicated that Russian billionaires Oleg Deripaska, Arkady Rotenberg, and Boris Rotenberg had to terminate private jet leases with Credit Suisse in those years.
Beginning in or around October 2021, Russia commenced a major military build-up near the Russo-Ukrainian border, in apparent preparation for an invasion of Ukraine. Although the Russian government repeatedly denied it had plans to invade or attack Ukraine, the U.S. later released intelligence of Russian invasion plans, including satellite photographs showing Russian troops and equipment near the Russo-Ukrainian border.
In November 2021, as Russia’s military buildup on the Russo-Ukrainian border continued, the Company entered the Securitization Deal.
Just months later, on February 24, 2022, Russian military forces invaded Ukraine. In the immediate aftermath of the invasion, Western governments including, among others, the U.S., Canada, and the European Union, imposed significant sanctions on Russia. The sanctions included, inter alia, measures targeting Russia’s ultrawealthy oligarchs by denying them access to the global financial system and by, in some cases, authorizing the seizure of certain of their high-value assets located outside of Russia.
Barely a week after the commencement of the Russian invasion and the retaliatory sanctions imposed by Western nations, news outlets reported that Credit Suisse had requested non-participating investors who received information about the Company’s loan portfolio to destroy and permanently erase any confidential information that Credit Suisse provided to them regarding the Securitization Deal.
The complaint alleges that, throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operations, and compliance policies. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) Credit Suisse had deficient disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting; (ii) Credit Suisse’s practice of lending money to Russian oligarchs subject to U.S. and international sanctions created a significant risk of violating rules pertaining to those sanctions and future sanctions; (iii) the foregoing conduct subjected the Company to an increased risk of heightened regulatory scrutiny and/or enforcement actions; (iv) the Securitization Deal concerned loans that Credit Suisse made to Russian oligarchs previously sanctioned by the U.S.; (v) the purpose of the Securitization Deal was to offload the risks associated with these loans and mitigate the impact on Credit Suisse of sanctions likely to be implemented by Western nations in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; (vi) Credit Suisse’s request that non-participating investors destroy documents related to the Securitization Deal was intended to conceal the Company’s noncompliance with U.S. and international sanctions in its lending practices; (vii) the foregoing, once revealed, was likely to subject the Company to enhanced regulatory scrutiny and significant reputational harm; and (viii) as a result, the Company’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.
On March 28, 2022, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform sent Credit Suisse a letter asking the Company to turn over information and documents about a portfolio of loans backed by yachts and private jets owned by clients, potentially including sanctioned Russian individuals. In the letter, House Oversight Chair Carolyn Maloney and Rep. Stephen Lynch, chair of the Subcommittee on National Security, questioned Credit Suisse’s request that hedge funds and other non-participating investors “destroy documents” related to yachts and private jets owned by the bank’s clients. “Given the timing of this request and its subject matter,” the House Democrats wrote, “Credit Suisse’s action raises significant concerns that it may be concealing information” about whether participants in the deal may be “evading sanctions” imposed by the West after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
On this news, Credit Suisse’s stock price fell $0.21 per share, or 2.58%, to close at $7.94 per share on March 28, 2022.
For more information on the Credit Suisse class action go to: https://bespc.com/cases/CS
Riskified Ltd. (NYSE: RSKD)
Class Period: Pursuant to the Jul 28, 2021 IPO
Lead Plaintiff Deadline: July 1, 2022
Riskified operates a risk management platform that utilizes machine learning to protect its merchant-clients from fraud. On July 1, 2021, Riskified filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) a registration statement on Form F-1 for the IPO, which, after several amendments, was declared effective on July 28, 2021 (the “Registration Statement”). The Registration Statement was used to sell to the investing public 20.125 million Riskified Class A ordinary shares at $21 per share, generating over $422 million in gross proceeds.
The Riskified class action lawsuit alleges that the IPO’s Registration Statement made inaccurate statements of material fact because they failed to disclose the following adverse facts that existed at the time of the IPO: (i) as Riskified expanded its user base, the quality of Riskified’s machine learning platform had deteriorated (rather than improved as represented in the Registration Statement), because of, among other things, inaccuracies in the algorithms associated with onboarding new merchants and entering new geographies and industries; (ii) Riskified had expanded its customer base into industries with relatively high rates of fraud – including partnerships with cryptocurrency and remittance business – in which Riskified had limited experience and that this expansion has negatively impacted the effectiveness of Riskified’s machine learning platform; (iii) as a result, Riskified was suffering from materially higher chargebacks and cost of revenue and depressed gross profits and gross profit margins during its third fiscal quarter of 2021; and (iv) thus, the Registration Statement’s representations regarding Riskified’s historical financial and operational metrics and purported market opportunities did not accurately reflect the actual business, operations, and financial results and trajectory of Riskified prior to and at the time of the IPO, and were materially false and misleading, and lacked a factual basis.
On September 9, 2021, during a conference call to discuss Riskified’s financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2021, Riskified’s CFO, defendant Aglika Dotcheva, stated that Riskified tended “to experience higher chargebacks when we enter a new industry.”
Then, on November 16, 2021, Riskified announced its third quarter ended September 30, 2021 results, revealing that Riskified’s revenue growth had declined to 26% year-over-year, Riskified’s Gross Merchandise Value (“GMV”) growth had declined to 28% year-over-year, Riskified’s gross profits had increased only 10% year-over-year, Riskified’s gross profit margins had plummeted to just 46% during the quarter, and Riskified’s gross profit fell sequentially to $24.3 million. Further, Riskified’s cost of revenue had jumped to $28.3 million in the third quarter of 2021, primarily as a result of a sharp increase in chargeback expenses. During the earnings call, defendant Dotcheva blamed Riskified’s growing merchant base as a primary cause of increased chargebacks.
Finally, on February 23, 2022, Riskified announced its fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2021 results, disclosing that Riskified’s revenue growth and GMV growth had continued to decelerate, Riskified’s gross profit growth remained muted, and Riskified’s cost of revenue had continued to climb. Riskified also revealed that it expected to generate only between $254 million and $257 million in 2022 revenues (which would represent only 11.5% year-over-year growth) and an adjusted 2022 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization of between negative $69 million and $66 million (which would more than triple the losses suffered by Riskified in 2021), indicating that the adverse business trends being suffered by Riskified were in fact accelerating. During the earnings call the same day, defendant Dotcheva stated that the year-over-year decline in gross profit margin experienced “was driven primarily by [Riskified’s] expansion into new industries and regions, increase of the tickets in travel industry as a percentage of total billings as well as the onboarding of new merchants.
At the time of the filing of the complaint, Riskified Class A shares traded below $6 per share, more than 70% below the IPO price.
For more information on the Riskified class action go to: https://bespc.com/cases/RSKD
About Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C.:
Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C. is a nationally recognized law firm with offices in New York, California, and South Carolina. The firm represents individual and institutional investors in commercial, securities, derivative, and other complex litigation in state and federal courts across the country. For more information about the firm, please visit www.bespc.com. Attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes.