On May 15, 2015, Pomerantz LLP was appointed lead counsel in a class action lawsuit against Altair Nanotechnologies, Inc. and certain of its officers. The class action, filed in United States District Court, Southern District of New York, and docketed under 14-cv-7828, is on behalf of a class consisting of all persons or entities who purchased Altair securities between May 15, 2013 and September 4, 2014, inclusive (the “Class Period”). This class action seeks to recover damages against Defendants for alleged violations of the federal securities laws under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”).
Altair designs, manufactures and delivers energy storage systems for clean, efficient power and energy management.
The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operational and compliance policies, and internal controls over financial reporting. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (1) the Company was experiencing significant executive management and accounting level turnover in 2013 which led to a lack of segregation of duties throughout the Company and resulted in a lack of controls to perform a timely review of transactions at an appropriate level of precision; (2) the Company did not implement adequate procedures and controls over the 2013 year-end financial close and reporting process to ensure timely filings in compliance with its financial reporting requirements; (3) the Company did not implement adequate procedures and controls to appropriately evaluate routine and non-routine transactions, and as a result, did not detect the material misstatements that were identified by its auditor during its audit process; (4) the Company did not implement adequate procedures and controls to ensure accurate and timely communication with its subsidiaries in China; and as a result of the foregoing, (5) the Company did not implement adequate procedures and controls to ensure the completeness and accuracy of its consolidated financial statements and related subsequent events.
On September 4, 2014, the Company filed a Form 8-K with the SEC announcing that on August 28, 2014, Crowe Horwath LLP (“Crowe”), the independent registered public accounting firm of Altair, resigned as the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm. According to the Form 8-K, Crowe’s resignation letter to the Company’s management and the Audit Committee of the Company’s Board of Directors advised the Company that it was resigning due to its inability to complete the audit of the Company’s financial statements for the year ended 2013 in part due its inability to perform sufficient procedures to determine the completeness of reporting of subsequent events transactions that may have occurred in China. Moreover, Crowe indicated that it was resigning in part due to the Company’s material weakness relative to implementing controls and procedures to ensure accurate and timely communications between the Company’s subsidiaries in China and its U.S.-based accounting team.
On this news, NASDAQ halted Altair’s shares during the trading day on September 4, 2014 at $4.30 per share. Shares of Altair resumed trading on September 24, 2014, and as a result of this news, immediately fell $3.35 per share, a drop of nearly 78% from the halted price of $4.30 on September 4, 2014, to close at $0.95 on September 24, 2014.