April 12, 2012
Bernstein Liehhard LLP today announced an investigation into possible securities law violations involving AutoChina International Limited (“AutoChina” or the “Company”) (OTC: AUTCF.OB), which formerly traded on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbol “AUTC.”
On April 11, 2012, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (‘SEC”) filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts against AutoChina and certain individuals for violations of the securities laws. The SEC alleged that the AutoChina defendants conducted a market manipulation scheme to create the false appearance of a liquid and active market for AutoChina’s stock in order to obtain financing.
According to the SEC’s complaint, beginning in October 2010, the defendants and others deposited more than $60 million into brokerage accounts based in the United States and engaged in hundreds of fraudulent trades. The complaint alleges that prior to opening these brokerage accounts, the average trading volume of AutoChina’s stock was approximately 18,000 shares, but in the three months after these accounts were opened, the daily trading volume increased to 139,000 shares. During the period of November 1, 2010 through January 31, 2011, trading by the defendants and related accounts generated as much as 70% of AutoChina’s trading volume.
After the market learned of the SEC’s lawsuit, the price of AutoChina’s stock fell to $17.00 per share from its April 10, 2012 close of $20.50, a one-day decline of 17%.
If you are interested in discussing your rights as an AutoChina shareholder and/or have information relating to the matter, please contact Joseph R. Seidman, Jr. at (877) 779-1414 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Bernstein Liebhard has pursued hundreds of securities, consumer and shareholder rights cases and recovered over $3 billion for its clients. It has been named to The National Law Journal’s “Plaintiffs’ Hot List” in each of the last nine years.