SOURCE: Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP

April 22, 2008 16:51 ET

Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP Subprime Litigation Practice Group Announces Class Action Lawsuit on Behalf of Investors in Schwab YieldPlus Fund

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - April 22, 2008) - The law firm of Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP announces the filing of a class action lawsuit on behalf of investors who purchased Select Shares or Investor Shares of the Charles Schwab YieldPlus Fund (NASDAQ: SCHW). Marketed to investors as a conservative investment, the Fund was pitched to investors as being only marginally more risky than a money market fund. The Fund purported to deliver a high return by investing in ultra-short term bonds. The Fund was sold to investors pursuant to a Prospectus, filed with the SEC, which promised that the Fund would avoid risk by not investing in illiquid instruments or by concentrating its investments in any one industry.

In direct violation of the representations to investors, the Fund focused its investments in high-risk mortgage-backed instruments, including securities backed by subprime loans. Contrary to its promises of diversification, the Fund concentrated half of its assets in investments tied to mortgages. Moreover, approximately 40% of the Fund's assets were locked into complex instruments such as Collateralized Mortgage Obligations and Collateralized Debt Obligations that were not liquid, and which the Fund could not readily sell. When the U.S. mortgage market collapsed, the Fund's investments in these risky instruments plummeted in value. By March 20, 2008, the Fund's assets had declined to approximately $2.5 billion from a high of over $13.0 billion as of May 30, 2007.

The complaint filed by Bernstein Litowitz on behalf of all investors in the YieldPlus Fund asserts that Charles Schwab Corp., Charles Schwab Management and other Charles Schwab entities, together with several individuals employed by those entities, violated the Securities Act of 1933 by registering and selling the Select and Investor Shares of the Fund pursuant to registration statements and prospectuses that contained untrue information about the Fund, its investments and its risk profile. The claim is asserted on behalf of all purchasers of Investor and Select Shares of the Fund between March 17, 2005 and March 28, 2008. A copy of the complaint can be found at www.blbglaw.com.

Bernstein Litowitz, one of the nation's leading firms representing plaintiffs in securities and other complex class action litigation, has offices in New York City, San Diego, New Jersey and New Orleans and is active in major litigations pending in federal and state courts throughout the United States. Bernstein Litowitz is responsible for billions of dollars in aggregate recoveries on behalf of defrauded investors and consumers, including the more than $6 billion recovered for investors in the WorldCom, Inc. securities litigation.

In December 2007, Bernstein Litowitz established a new practice group to protect the interests of its investor and consumer clients in the wake of the collapse of the subprime mortgage industry and the continuing revelations of misconduct by mortgage lenders, bankers and rating agencies. The Firm's Subprime Litigation Practice Group handles the full range of litigation matters related to the subprime collapse, including claims on behalf of investors in mortgage lenders, companies in related industries, and financial institutions that have concealed their exposure to losses from mortgage-backed securities, as well as investors in CDOs and other financial instruments tied to mortgage-backed securities. The Subprime Litigation Practice Group is currently representing investors in a number of companies involved in subprime lending and investments, including New Century Financial Corporation, Countrywide Financial, Accredited Home Lenders Holding Company, Fremont General Corporation, American Home Mortgage Investment Corporation, Citigroup Inc., and Washington Mutual, Inc. The Firm is also prosecuting the first case asserted on behalf of retirees whose retirement savings were improperly -- and imprudently -- invested in high-risk mortgage-backed securities, in an ERISA class action recently filed against State Street Bank & Trust Company and State Street Global Advisors.

Please refer to the website of Bernstein Litowitz (www.blbglaw.com) for more detailed information about the firm and its major achievements in complex litigation matters. If you wish to discuss the Schwab YieldPlus Fund case with us, offer any information to assist in the case, or have any questions, please contact Gerald H. Silk or Blair A. Nicholas.

Contact Information

  • Contact:

    Gerald H. Silk
    Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP
    1285 Avenue of the Americas
    New York, New York 10019
    Tel: 212-554-1400
    Email: jerry@blbglaw.com
    Website: www.blbglaw.com

    Blair A. Nicholas
    Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP
    12481 High Bluff Drive
    Suite 300
    Tel: (858) 720-3183
    Email: blairn@blbglaw.com
    Website: www.blbglaw.com