Fezzani v. Bear, Stearns & Co.

Several individual investors appealed from the district court's dismissal of their complaint alleging securities fraud in violation of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C. 78a et seq. This litigation arose out of a fraudulent scheme engaged in a now-defunct broker-dealer (Baron). The court concluded that the investors have sufficiently pleaded with particularity that certain Baron investors (Dweck) provided knowing and substantial assistance in financing and facilitating the Baron fraud. While such allegations would easily be sufficient in an SEC civil action, or a federal criminal action because this knowing and substantial assistance constituted, at the least, aiding and abetting, they did not meet the standards for private damage actions under Section 10(b). Nevertheless, with the investors' state law claims - civil conspiracy to defraud and aiding and abetting fraud - the complaint alleged sufficient involvement by Dweck in the scheme to survive a motion to dismiss. Therefore, the court vacated the dismissal and remanded the state law claims for further proceedings. The court affirmed the dismissal of the federal securities claims. View "Fezzani v. Bear, Stearns & Co." on Justia Law