SOURCE: Brower Piven, A Professional Corporation

December 15, 2009 15:25 ET

Brower Piven Encourages Investors Who Have Losses in Excess of $250,000 From Investment in Sterling Financial Corporation to Inquire About the Lead Plaintiff Position in Securities Fraud Class Action Lawsuit Before the February 9, 2010 Lead Plaintiff Deadline

BALTIMORE, MD--(Marketwire - December 15, 2009) - Brower Piven, A Professional Corporation announces that a class action lawsuit has been commenced in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington on behalf of purchasers of the publicly traded securities of Sterling Financial Corporation ("Sterling" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: STSA) during the period between July 23, 2008 and January 13, 2009, inclusive (the "Class Period").

No class has yet been certified in the above action. Members of the Class will be represented by the lead plaintiff and counsel chosen by the lead plaintiff. If you wish to choose counsel to represent you and the Class, you must apply to be appointed lead plaintiff no later than February 9, 2010 and be selected by the Court. The lead plaintiff will direct the litigation and participate in important decisions including whether to accept a settlement and how much of a settlement to accept for the Class in the action. The lead plaintiff will be selected from among applicants claiming the largest loss from investment in the Company during the Class Period. You are not required to have sold your shares to seek damages or to serve as a Lead Plaintiff. You may contact Brower Piven (through or 410/986-0036) to answer any questions you may have in that regard.

The complaint accuses the defendants of violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by virtue of the Company's failure to disclose during the Class Period the extent of seriously delinquent commercial real estate loans and construction and land loans and that the Company also failed to adequately and timely record losses for its impaired loans, causing its financial results and its Tier 1 capital ratio to be materially false. Further, according to the complaint, defendants' assets contained hundreds of millions of dollars worth of impaired and risky securities, many of which were backed by real estate that was rapidly dropping in value and for which Sterling had failed to record adequate loan loss reserves, Sterling had not adequately reserved for loan losses or accounted for its goodwill or its deferred tax assets, and the Company's capital base was insufficient to withstand deterioration in the real estate markets, forcing Sterling to consent to a cease and desist order from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation directing it to raise $300 million in capital. Also, according to the complaint, after the Company, on January 13, 2009, issued guidance for the fourth quarter and year end 2008 (including an anticipated loss for the fourth quarter and the year ended December 31, 2008 and that the loss would be due in substantial part to an anticipated increase in its allowance for loan and lease loss reserves of approximately $230 million and an expected goodwill impairment charge of between $275 million to $325 million) and stated that it would be suspending its quarterly cash dividend, the value of Sterling's stock declined significantly.

If you have suffered a net loss for all transactions in Sterling Financial Corporation securities during the Class Period (including shares or possibly calls purchased during, but not sold until after the end of the Class Period or possibly put options sold but not covered until after the end of the Class Period, you may obtain additional information about this lawsuit and your ability to become a lead plaintiff by contacting Brower Piven at, by email at, by calling 410-986-0036, or at Brower Piven, A Professional Corporation, The World Trade Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt Street, Suite 2525, Baltimore, Maryland 21202. Attorneys at Brower Piven have combined experience litigating securities and class action cases of over 40 years. If you choose to retain counsel, you may retain Brower Piven without financial obligation or cost to you, or you may retain other counsel of your choice. You need take no action at this time to be a member of the class.

Contact Information

    Charles J. Piven
    Brower Piven, A Professional Corporation
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Email Contact