Cahill Gordon & Reindel is defending Credit Suisse Group in a securities class action suit related to the financial services firm’s alleged work with Russian oligarchs facing sanctions, according to documents filed Thursday in the Eastern District of New York.
Cahill litigation department chair Herbert Washer, partner Sheila Ramesh and counsel Adam Mintz are representing Credit Suisse, CEO Thomas Gottstein and CFO David Mathers in the suit, which was filed April 29 by Pomerantz LLP managing partner Jeremy Lieberman and associate Thomas Przybylowski.
Notice of Cahill’s appearance in the suit was surfaced by Law.com Radar.
The Pomerantz attorneys alleged that, between March 2021 and March 2022, the defendants made a series of false or misleading statements or failures to disclose information about Credit Suisse’s work with Russian oligarchs, even as Russia prepared for the invasion of Ukraine.
The complaint alleged that in November, Credit Suisse entered into a securitization deal in which it sold off $80 million worth of risk related to $2 billion of its ultra-high-net-worth client loans. Lieberman and Przybylowski quoted from a Feb. 7 Financial Times article discussing an investor presentation for the deal.
“[The presentation] disclosed that, in 2017 and 2018, Credit Suisse experienced 12 defaults on yacht and aircraft loans, a third of which were related to U.S. sanctions against Russian oligarchs,” they wrote. “Press reports at the time indicated that Russian billionaires Oleg Deripaska, Arkady Rotenberg, and Boris Rotenberg had to terminate private jet leases with Credit Suisse in those years.”
On March 2, days after Russia invaded Ukraine, the Financial Times reported that Credit Suisse had asked investors to destroy documents related to the securitization deal.
The last day of the class period in the complaint is March 28, when the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform sent Credit Suisse a letter asking for records related to “a portfolio of loans backed by yachts and private jets owned by clients, potentially including sanctioned Russian individuals,” according to the complaint.
The letter, which was signed by House Oversight Chair Carolyn Maloney, D-New York, and Subcommittee on National Security Chair Stephen Lynch, D-Massachusetts, said the committee was “particularly concerned” about Credit Suisse’s directive to destroy documents.
“Credit Suisse’s action raises significant concerns that it may be concealing information about whether participants in the securitization deal, including both Credit Suisse and investors, as well as owners of underlying assets, such as yachts and private jets, may be evading sanctions imposed by the United States and the international community in response to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine,” the letter said.
Credit Suisse’s stock price fell after the letter became public, according to the complaint.
The case is captioned March Bosch v. Credit Suisse Group AG, and it has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Eric Vitaliano of the Eastern District of New York.