Public Pensions to Lead Suit Against Vodka Producer

August 24, 2012 ( - Two public employee pension systems have been named lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against a European vodka producer.

U.S. District Judge Jerome B. Simandle of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey appointed the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System and the Fresno County Employees’ Retirement Association as lead plaintiffs in a class action securities fraud lawsuit against Central European Distribution Corporation (CEDC), The Herald of Rock Hill, South Carolina, reports.  

The lawsuit alleges that CEDC and some of its officers and directors issued materially false and misleading statements regarding CEDC’s business and prospects that deceived investors and caused the plaintiffs to purchase the stock at artificially inflated prices. On March 1, 2011, the company issued a press release announcing financial results for 2010, reporting net losses exceeding $90 million. The company’s stock fell more than 37%, down more than $8.50 per share, causing the plaintiffs’ losses.  

The law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll was appointed lead counsel. “We believe investors were misled by defendants’ misrepresentations and our goal is to recover as much of their losses as we can,” said Cohen Milstein Managing Partner Steven J. Toll, according to the news report.  

CEDC is primarily an importer and exporter of alcoholic beverages; is one of the largest vodka producers in the world; and has the largest “integrated spirit business” in Central and Eastern Europe.