Something More

Rules 10b-5(a) and (c) establish securities fraud liability for deceptive devices, schemes, and acts. One issue courts have considered is whether “scheme liability” requires a defendant to have engaged in fraudulent conduct beyond the making of material misrepresentations or omissions (which is specifically prohibited by Rule 10b-5(b)).

In Public Pension Group v. KV Pharmaceutical Co., 2012 WL 1970226 (8th Cir. June 4, 2012), the court found that the only non-conclusory “scheme liability” allegations were based on the defendants’ supposed knowledge of misstatements concerning the company’s FDA compliance and earnings. The court held that these allegations were deficient, “join[ing] the Second and Ninth Circuits in recognizing a scheme liability claim must be based on conduct beyond misrepresentations or omissions actionable under Rule 10b-5(b).”

Holding: Dismissal affirmed in part and reversed in part.

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