Tenth Circuit Affirms High Standard For Scienter Pleading In Securities Fraud Cases Against Independent Auditors

In Dronsejko v. Grant Thornton, Nos. 09-4222 and 10-4074, U.S. App. LEXIS 1052 (10th Cir. Jan. 20, 2011), the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed a decision by the United States District Court for the District of Utah dismissing a securities fraud class action brought by investors in iMergent against its independent auditor, Grant Thornton. The district court held that the operative complaint failed to plead particularized facts sufficient to give rise to a strong inference that Grant Thornton possessed the scienter required to support liability under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C. § 78j(b), and Rule 10b-5, 17 C.F.R. § 240.10b-5. Plaintiffs also sought relief from the dismissal under Rule 60(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, asserting that subsequent orders by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”) issuing sanctions against two Grant Thornton auditors for their conduct in auditing iMergent’s financial statements added new evidence to their claims. The district court denied plaintiffs’ Rule 60(b) motion. The Tenth Circuit affirmed both decisions, reiterating the high standards for pleading a securities fraud claim against an independent auditor.

Please see full article below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

Written by:

Published In:

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »


Sheppard Mullin is a full service AmLaw 100 firm with more than 600 attorneys in 16 offices located... View Profile »

Follow Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP:

Reporters on Deadline

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.