In re OPKO Health, Inc. Securities Litigation

Court: United States District Court of the Southern District of Florida
Case Number: 1:18-cv-23786-JEM
Class Period: 09/26/2013 - 09/07/2018
Case Contacts: John Rizio-Hamilton, Jai K. Chandrasekhar, Adam Hollander, Brenna Nelinson, R. Ryan Dykhouse

Securities fraud class action filed on behalf of a class of investors who purchased or otherwise acquired OPKO Health Inc. (“OPKO”) common stock from September 26, 2013 to September 7, 2018, inclusive, and were damaged thereby (the "Class Period").

Lead Plaintiff Has Reached a Proposed Settlement for $16.5 Million

The Court-appointed Lead Plaintiff, The Amitim Funds, on behalf of itself and the Settlement Class, has reached a proposed settlement of the Action for $16,500,000 in cash that, if approved, will resolve the Action (the “Settlement”).

The Court held a hearing to consider approval of the Settlement and related matters on December 15, 2020.  The motions for Court approval of the Settlement, approval of the Plan of Allocation, and approval of Lead Plaintiff’s application for attorneys’ fees and expenses are still pending before the Court.

If you are a member of the Settlement Class, your rights will be affected and you may be eligible for a payment from the Settlement.  The Settlement Class consists of:

all persons or entities that purchased or otherwise acquired OPKO common stock during the period from September 26, 2013 through September 7, 2018, inclusive (the “Class Period”), including, but not limited to, on either a U.S.-based exchange (including the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq), or on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, and who were damaged thereby.

Certain persons and entities are excluded from the Settlement Class by definition (see paragraph 23 of the Notice) or by request  (see paragraphs 54-56 of the Notice).

Please read the Notice to fully understand your rights and options.  Copies of the Notice and Claim Form can be found on the Case Documents tab on the left-hand side of the page.  You may also visit the Settlement website, OPKOHealthSecuritiesLitigation.com, for more information about the Settlement. 

Information in Hebrew (מידע בעברית) can be found at OPKOHealthSecuritiesLitigation.com.

If you are a member of the Settlement Class and you purchased OPKO common stock on a U.S. stock exchange (New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq), or you purchased or acquired shares through any other means other than on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, you must submit a Claim Form postmarked no later than January 26, 2021 in order to be eligible to receive a payment under the proposed Settlement. 

If you purchased OPKO common stock only on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (“TASE”) you do not need to submit a Claim Form.  Those Settlement Class Members will be eligible to receive a distribution from the Settlement, if it is approved, based on the shares they purchased on the TASE without submitting a Claim Form. 

Payments to eligible claimants will be made only if the Court approves the Settlement and a plan of allocation, and only after any appeals are resolved, and after the completion of all claims processing. Please be patient, as this process will take some time to complete.

IMPORTANT DATES AND DEADLINES

 

January 26, 2021

Claim Filing Deadline. Claim Forms must be postmarked no later than January 26, 2021 to be eligible for a payment from the Settlement.

The only way to be eligible to receive a payment from the Settlement Fund based on your purchases of OPKO common stock traded on a U.S. stock exchange (including the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq), or any other purchases or acquisitions of OPKO common stock by any other means other than on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, is to submit a Claim Form postmarked by January 26, 2021.
  

You do not need to submit a Claim Form to be eligible for a payment based on your purchases of OPKO common stock traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

 

The Litigation

In September 2018, after a significant investigation, the SEC charged Frost and OPKO with numerous violations of the federal securities laws for this misconduct. After the disclosure of the SEC complaint, the price of OPKO common stock collapsed by more than 30%, causing significant harm to OPKO shareholders. The Complaint alleges that Defendant Phillip Frost, CEO and Chairman of Defendant OPKO, who enjoyed a reputation as a savvy investor in biotechnology companies and was sometimes referred to as the “Warren Buffet of biotech,” used OPKO, a publicly traded company, as a vehicle for illicit investing activities. The action arises from alleged false statements and omissions by Frost and OPKO concealing the involvement of Frost, OPKO and other Defendants in multiple illicit “pump-and-dump” stock schemes. The Defendants allegedly used orchestrated trading and false promotional pieces to artificially “pump” up the share price of companies in which they had invested, and then “dumped” their shares by selling them to unsuspecting investors, leaving investors holding stock that was, in truth, virtually worthless.

Background

In December 2013, investment company Lakewood Capital Management (“Lakewood”) published a detailed report titled, “OPKO Health: The Placebo Effect” (the “Lakewood Report”), which connected Frost and OPKO with two individuals named Barry Honig and Michael Brauser, among others, implicated in numerous suspect investments going back years. The Lakewood Report detailed examples of litigation against, and suspected fraud by, Honig and Brauser, and raised serious concern among OPKO investors. In the days after Lakewood’s criticisms were aired, OPKO’s stock declined significantly on elevated trading volume. Frost and Opko denied the allegations in the Lakewood Report.

Throughout the Class Period, Frost and OPKO made a host of other public statements in SEC filings, investor conferences, and the media that were designed to reassure investors that their investment activities were legitimate, were based on the identification of valuable medical technology, and were made to benefit OPKO and its shareholders.

The Complaint alleges, however, that these statements were materially false and misleading, and served to conceal a disturbing truth: unbeknownst to investors, Frost and OPKO were indeed involved in multiple alleged illicit “pump-and-dump” schemes with Honig and Brauser. Investors in OPKO stock did not learn the truth about this alleged misconduct until September 7, 2018, when the SEC charged Frost, OPKO, Honig, Brauser, and multiple additional entities controlled by Frost with a litany of violations of the federal securities laws for engaging in multiple “‘pump-and-dump’ schemes” leaving “retail investors holding virtually worthless shares.”

On February 4, 2019, the Court appointed The Amitim Funds as Lead Plaintiff, and BLB&G as Lead Counsel, for the Class, and on May 3, 2019, Lead Plaintiff filed the Complaint on behalf of a class of investors who purchased or otherwise acquired OPKO common stock from September 26, 2013 to September 7, 2018. In June 2020, the parties reached a proposed settlement of $16.5 million that was subject to Court approval. 

On September 4, 2020, the Court entered an Order preliminarily approving the Settlement, approving the mailing of notice to the Settlement Class, and scheduling a final Settlement Hearing for December 15, 2020.

The motions for Court approval of the Settlement and related matters are still pending before the Court.

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