July 31, 2008
Labaton Sucharow LLP Secures $47.5 Million Options Backdating Settlement Against Monster Worldwide
NEW YORK (July 31, 2008) – Labaton Sucharow LLP, representing the court-appointed Class Representative Middlesex County Retirement System, today announced that it has entered into a memorandum of understanding (“MOU”) to settle In re Monster Worldwide, Inc. Securities Litigation for $47.5 million. The proposed settlement, if approved by U.S District Judge Jed S. Rakoff of the Southern District of New York, will be one of the top five largest options backdating class action settlements in history. The settlement also requires Monster’s founder and former Chief Executive Officer Andrew McKelvey to personally pay $550,000 toward the settlement.
The case alleges securities fraud against Monster Worldwide, Inc., and certain of its former executives, based on a long-running scheme involving the backdating of the company’s stock option grants to attract and retain employees. Middlesex alleged that defendants’ failures to abide by Monster’s stated granting practices and to properly account for this undisclosed compensation rendered the company’s financial statements and periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission materially false and misleading in violation of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.
This important settlement builds on Labaton Sucharow’s leading national role in helping to prosecute corporate fraud in high-profile securities litigation and highlights its particular prominence in the stock options backdating area. The firm has been appointed as lead or co-lead counsel in almost one-third of all stock options backdating class actions. The firm also recently recovered $117.5 million against Mercury Interactive, in what was the largest options backdating settlement at the time. Labaton Sucharow is currently serving as lead counsel in several of the most significant securities fraud class actions today, including cases against AIG, Countrywide Financial Corp., HealthSouth, Broadcom, Amgen, among many others.
Chris Keller, a partner with Labaton Sucharow, said, “This important settlement is an outstanding recovery for the defrauded investors. Not only is it a substantial percentage of estimated investment losses, but Monster’s former CEO, Andrew McKelvey, will justifiably bear some financial responsibility for the Company’s wrongdoing. This case represents an important win in the battle against stock options backdating fraud. Middlesex should be applauded for its leadership role.”
More information about Labaton Sucharow is available at www.labaton.com.