The New Orleans Employees’ Retirement System, Through Its Counsel Labaton Sucharow LLP, Files Class Action Lawsuit Against UBS AG In Connection With Tax Haven Scheme

The New Orleans Employees Retirement System, through its counsel Labaton Sucharow LLP, filed a class action lawsuit on January 30, 2009 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, on behalf of all purchasers of UBS stock between May 4, 2004 and January 26, 2009 (the “Class” and the “Class Period”).  The putative Class seeks a recovery of billions of dollars in damages.

The complaint alleges that UBS maintained and benefited from a scheme allowing and encouraging clients to evade U.S. tax law by concealing billions of dollars of funds in “undeclared” Swiss bank accounts.  The complaint also alleges that UBS’s Swiss bankers have improperly sold securities in the United States without a license in violation of SEC regulations, and have actively conspired to subvert Qualified Intermediary reporting obligations which facilitated tax evasion for U.S. investors.  As a result of its alleged malfeasance, UBS now faces a penalty fine in the amount of $1.2 billion, and possibly a felony indictment from the U.S. Government.

The Defendants include (i) UBS AG, (ii) Marcel Ospel, (iii) Marcel Rohner,(iv) Peter Wuffli, (v) Peter Kurer, (vi) Raoul Weil, (vii) Martin Liechti,(viii) Mark Branson, and (ix) Phillip Lofts. These defendants are alleged to have concealed from investors that UBS’s profits, financial performance, and purported prospects were the result of improper and illegal conduct.

As alleged in the complaint, Defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by issuing materially false and misleading statements about the adequacy of UBS’s internal risk management policies and controls, regarding the Company’s adherence to applicable laws, and regarding net new money, income, profit and earnings per share.

As provided under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, any member of the putative class may seek appointment as lead plaintiff.  Lead plaintiff applications must be filed with the Court no later than March 31, 2009.

You can view a copy of the complaint online at or obtain it from the Court.