Pension Fund Sues IBM for Spying Link

December 16, 2013 ( – The Louisiana Sheriffs Pension and Relief Fund (SPRF) is suing technology firm IBM for its connection to the Edward Snowden spying controversy.

According to a news report in The Times Picayune, the SPRF filed the lawsuit after IBM lost business in China due to revelations from Snowden, who leaked National Security Agency (NSA) materials that IBM was involved in a spying program in China. The fund filed a class action on behalf of investors in IBM stock that suffered losses when the stock’s value fell.

The suit alleges IBM defrauded investors by not revealing it was involved with an NSA spying program called Prism, which allowed the U.S. government to spy on the Chinese government and local businesses. According to the news report, the suit notes the Snowden leaks took place in June, but IBM did not reveal until October that China had cut its ties with IBM as a result. According to the complaint, company and media disclosures caused the price of IBM stock to decline from $186.73 per share to $174.83 per share, or 6.4%, on heavy trading volume of more than 22 million shares.

The suit names IBM, President and Chief Executive Officer Virginia Rometty and Chief Financial Officer Mark Loughridge as defendants. The SPRF is requesting compensation for damages, as well as legal and travel expenses and fees.

The complaint is here.