Sterling Bancorp Securities Litigation

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Sterling Bancorp Securities Litigation
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IF YOU PURCHASED STERLING BANCORP, INC. COMMON STOCK DURING THE PERIOD BEGINNING NOVEMBER 17, 2017, THROUGH MARCH 17, 2020, YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO PAYMENT FROM A CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT.

PLEASE BE ADVISED THIS SETTLEMENT IS SPECIFICALLY FOR STERLING BANCORP, INC. COMMON STOCK (TICKER: SBT) (CUSIP: 85917W102)

 

The information contained on this web page is only a summary of information presented in more detail in the Notice Of Pendency Of Class Action And Proposed Settlement, Final Approval Hearing, And Motion For Attorneys’ Fees And Reimbursement Of Litigation Expenses (the “Notice”), which you can access by clicking here. Since this website is just a summary, you should review the Notice for additional information.

Notice of Pendency of Class Action: Please be advised that your rights may be affected by the above-captioned securities class action (the “Action”) pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (the “Court”), if, during the period from November 17, 2017, through and including March 17, 2020 (“Settlement Class Period”), you purchased or otherwise acquired common stock of Sterling Bancorp, Inc. (“Sterling” or the “Company”), including pursuant to the Company’s initial public offering and were damaged thereby.1

Notice of Settlement: Please also be advised that the Court-appointed Lead Plaintiff, Oklahoma Police Pension and Retirement System (“OPPRS” or “Lead Plaintiff”), on behalf of itself and the Settlement Class (as defined in question number 5 of the Notice), have reached a proposed settlement of the Action for $12,500,000 in cash (“Settlement”).

PLEASE READ THE NOTICE CAREFULLY. The Notice explains important rights you may have, including the possible receipt of a payment from the Settlement. If you are a member of the Settlement Class, your legal rights will be affected whether or not you act. If you have questions about the Notice, the proposed Settlement, or your eligibility to participate in the Settlement, please DO NOT contact the Court, Sterling, the other Defendants in the Action, or their counsel. All questions should be directed to Lead Counsel or the Claims Administrator (see question number 7 of the Notice).

Description of the Action and the Settlement Class: The Settlement, which is subject to Court approval, resolves this Action – a class action brought in federal court by Lead Plaintiff OPPRS, on behalf of itself and others who purchased or otherwise acquired Sterling common stock during the Settlement Class Period, over whether Sterling and its former executive officers Gary Judd, Thomas Lopp, Michael Montemayor (“Officer Defendants”), founder Scott Seligman, current and former directors Barry Allen, Jon Fox, Seth Meltzer, Sandra Seligman, Peter Sinatra, Benjamin Wineman, and Lyle Wolberg (“Director Defendants”), and underwriters Piper Sandler Companies and American Capital Partners, LLC (“Underwriter Defendants”) (Sterling and the Officer Defendants, Director Defendants, Underwriter Defendants, and Scott Seligman are collectively referred to as “Defendants”) misled investors about Sterling’s core product, the Advantage Loan Program (or “ALP”), as being Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”)/Anti-Money Laundering (“AML”) compliant, as well as about the Company’s alleged disciplined and conservative underwriting procedures, strong risk management practices, internal controls, strong financial results, and growth driven by ALP residential mortgage loan growth. The proposed Settlement, if approved by the Court, will settle claims of the Settlement Class, as defined in question number 5 of the Notice.

Statement of the Settlement Class’s Recovery: Subject to Court approval, Lead Plaintiff, on behalf of itself and the Settlement Class, has agreed to settle the Action in exchange for $12.5 million in cash (the “Settlement Amount”) to be deposited into an escrow account. The Net Settlement Fund (i.e., the Settlement Amount plus any and all interest earned thereon (the “Settlement Fund”) less (i) any Taxes; (ii) any Notice and Administration Costs; (iii) any Litigation Expenses awarded by the Court; (iv) any attorneys’ fees awarded by the Court; and (v) any other costs or fees approved by the Court) will be distributed in accordance with a plan of allocation that is approved by the Court. The proposed plan of allocation (the “Plan of Allocation”) is set forth at pages 12 to 15 of the Notice. The Plan of Allocation will determine how the Net Settlement Fund shall be allocated among members of the Settlement Class.

Estimate of Average Amount of Recovery:  Based on Lead Plaintiff’s consulting damages expert’s estimate of the number of shares of Sterling common stock purchased or otherwise acquired during the Class Period that may have been affected by the conduct at issue in the Action, and assuming that all Settlement Class Members elect to participate in the Settlement, the estimated average recovery (before the deduction of any Court-approved fees, expenses, and costs described herein) is $0.82 per affected common share. Settlement Class Members should note, however, that the average recoveries provided herein are only estimates. Some Settlement Class Members may recover more or less than these estimated amounts depending on, among other factors, when and at what price they purchased or otherwise acquired or sold their Sterling stock, and the total number and value of valid Claim Forms submitted. Distributions to  Settlement Class Members will be made based on the Plan of Allocation as set forth herein (see pages 12 to 15 of the Notice) or such other plan of allocation as may be ordered by the Court.

Average Amount of Damages Per Share: The Parties do not agree on the average amount of damages per share that would be recoverable if Lead Plaintiff were to prevail in the Action. Among other things, Defendants do not agree with the assertion that they violated the federal securities laws or that any damages were suffered by any members of the Settlement Class as a result of their conduct.  

Attorneys’ Fees and Expenses Sought: Lead Counsel, Berman Tabacco, has been prosecuting the Action on a wholly contingent basis since its appointment as Interim Lead Counsel on May 1, 2020, and has not received any payment of attorneys’ fees for its representation of the Settlement Class, and has advanced the funds to pay expenses necessarily incurred to prosecute this Action. Lead Counsel will apply to the Court for an award of attorneys’ fees in an amount not to exceed 25% of the Settlement Fund. In addition, Lead Counsel will apply for the payment of litigation expenses incurred in connection with the institution, prosecution, and resolution of the Action in an amount not to exceed $90,000, which may include an application for reimbursement of reasonable costs and expenses incurred by Lead Plaintiff directly related to their representation of the Settlement Class, pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (“PSLRA”). Any fees and expenses awarded by the Court will be paid from the Settlement Fund. Settlement Class Members are not personally liable for any such fees or expenses. The estimated average cost for such fees and expenses, if the Court approves Lead Counsel’s fee and expense application, is $0.21 per affected common share.

Identification of Attorneys’ Representative:  Lead Plaintiff and the Settlement Class are represented by Kristin J. Moody, Esq. of Berman Tabacco, 44 Montgomery Street, Suite 650, San Francisco, CA 94104; (415) 433-3200; law@bermantabacco.com.

Reasons for the Settlement: Lead Plaintiff’s principal reason for entering into the Settlement is the substantial and certain recovery for the Settlement Class without the risk or delays inherent in further litigation. Moreover, the substantial recovery provided under this Settlement must be considered against the significant risk that a smaller recovery – or indeed no recovery at all – might be achieved after contested motions, a trial of the Action, and the likely appeals that would follow a trial. This process could be expected to last several years. Defendants, who deny that they have committed any act or omission giving rise to liability under the federal securities laws, are entering into the Settlement solely to eliminate the uncertainty, burden, and expense of further protracted litigation. 

Your Legal Rights and Options

You Can:

That Means:

Submit a Claim Form Received or Postmarked by August 10, 2021

This is the only way to be eligible to receive a payment from the Settlement Fund. If you are a Settlement Class Member and you remain in the Settlement Class, you will be bound by the Settlement as approved by the Court and you will give up any Plaintiffs’ Released Claims (defined in question number 12 below) that you have against Defendants and the other Defendants’ Releasees (defined in question number 12 below), so it is in your interest to submit a Claim Form

Exclude Yourself by Submitting a Written Request for Exclusion Postmarked by August 26, 2021

 

If you exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you will not be eligible to receive any payment from this Settlement and will not be part of the Settlement Class and will not be bound by any Judgment. This is the only option that allows you to ever be part of any other separate lawsuit, including your own lawsuit, concerning the Plaintiffs’ Released Claims.

Object by Submitting A Written Objection Received or Postmarked by August 26, 2021

If you remain part of the Settlement Class but have an objection to the Settlement, or some part of it, or the requested attorneys’ fees or expenses, you can write to the Court to explain why.

Go to a Hearing on September 16, 2021

Filing a written objection and notice of intention to appear by August 26, 2021, allows you to speak in Court, at the discretion of the Court, about the fairness of the proposed Settlement, the Plan of Allocation, and/or the request for attorneys’ fees and litigation expenses. If you submit a written objection, you may (but you do not have to) attend the hearing and, at the discretion of the Court, speak to the Court about your objection.

Do Nothing

If you are a member of the Settlement Class and you do not submit a valid Claim Form, you will not be eligible to receive any payment from the Settlement Fund.  You will, however, remain a Member of the Settlement Class, which means that you give up your right to sue about the claims that are resolved by the Settlement and you will be bound by any judgment or orders entered by the Court in the Action.

  

[1] All capitalized terms used in the Notice are defined in the Stipulation of Settlement, dated April 16, 2021 (the “Stipulation”). For convenience, certain capitalized terms are also defined in the Notice. To the extent there is any conflict between the definitions of capitalized terms in the Notice and the Stipulation, the definition in the Stipulation controls.


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