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Pandemic, ESOP Woes, Fair Value, Crypto, and Fraud at NYSSCPA Conference

The 2020 conference season is underway, and Business Valuation Update was on the scene—virtually, of course—for the New York State Society of CPAs Business Valuation/Litigation Services Conference webcast live from New York City May 18.

Accounting fraud causes Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary to overpay for sinking German manufacturer

Financial experts were unable to prevent a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary, Precision Castparts Corp. (PCC), from acquiring a German family business for five times as much as the collapsing company was worth, recent articles in the New York Times and the German newspaper Handelsblatt report.

Court Agrees Market Approach Generates Most Accurate Value of Plaintiff’s Interest

In business dispute alleging breach and fraud, court adopts plaintiff expert’s methodology to value contested interest by way of the market approach; court notes expert well explained why the income approach was not available and the asset approach was too limited to provide an accurate valuation.

Edelson v. Cheung

In business dispute alleging breach and fraud, court adopts plaintiff expert’s methodology to value contested interest by way of the market approach; court notes expert well explained why the income approach was not available and the asset approach was too limited to provide an accurate valuation.

Failure to Do Independent Price Impact Analysis Begets Class Certification

Court certifies securities fraud class action where plaintiff expert’s analysis shows market efficiency and where defense expert fails to perform independent event study to show lack of price impact and disprove effect of alleged misrepresentations.

Li v. Aeterna Zentaris, Inc.

Court certifies securities fraud class action where plaintiff expert’s analysis shows market efficiency and where defense expert fails to perform independent event study to show lack of price impact and disprove effect of alleged misrepresentations.

BVLaw Case Update

Every month, BVLaw analyzes and digests federal and state court decisions (including opinions from the United States Tax Court) that focus on valuation and damages issues and feature expert testimony. A BVLaw subscription is an efficient way for financial experts to keep up with developments in their areas of expertise and with the various courts’ takes on valuation methodology, Daubert and the art of presentation, and policy concerns.

Court Validates Use of IPO Valuation in Fair Value Proceeding

In shareholder suit involving pharmaceutical startup with uncertain prospects, appeals court upholds trial court’s rejection of expert testimony based on “traditional” valuation methods in favor of noncontemporary IPO valuation to determine fair value.

In re Finisar Corp. Secs. Litig.

Court denies class certification in securities fraud case, finding defense financial expert is able to rebut presumption of reliance by way of event study that shows defendant’s alleged misrepresentation had no significant impact on company’s stock price.

Defense Event Study Rebuts Plaintiff’s Price Impact Claim

Court denies class certification in securities fraud case, finding defense financial expert is able to rebut presumption of reliance by way of event study that shows defendant’s alleged misrepresentation had no significant impact on company’s stock price.

Trial court’s IPO valuation in fair value proceeding holds up on appeal

A recent case shows just how difficult it is to value a startup. Here, there was an extra challenge because the subject was a pharmaceutical venture that required years of funding for the development of two drugs working toward FDA approval. The trial court needed to determine the fair value of the plaintiff’s interest prior to the company’s ultimate success.

Baker v. Seaworld Entm’t, Inc.

Court grants class certification in securities fraud case; defense expert’s event study to show absence-of-price-impact fails to rebut presumption of reliance; plaintiff meets predominance requirement and its expert offers valid classwide damages model.

Court Balks at Event Study’s Singular Focus on Misrepresentation

Court grants class certification in securities fraud case; defense expert’s event study to show absence-of-price-impact fails to rebut presumption of reliance; plaintiff meets predominance requirement and its expert offers valid classwide damages model.

Trustee’s Attack on Merger Projections Fails to Resonate With Court

Court says trustee fails to show debtor was insolvent under any applicable financial condition tests; contemporaneous industry analysis and valuations by financing banks belie claim that management projections in support of merger were unreasonable.

Appeals Court Upholds Insolvency Rulings in Transfer Liability Case

Appeals court upholds Tax Court’s transfer liability rulings; there was constructive fraud in that dividend payments to appellant were not compensation for services rendered but were part of a series of transfers leading to company’s insolvency.

Direct Evidence of Price Impact Not Always Necessary, 2nd Circuit Says

In a securities fraud action, appeals court upholds class certification; trial court did not err when it found direct evidence of price impact by way of event study was not necessary to show market efficiency where there was strong indirect evidence.

Waggoner v. Barclays PLC

In a securities fraud action, appeals court upholds class certification; trial court did not err when it found direct evidence of price impact by way of event study was not necessary to show market efficiency where there was strong indirect evidence.

Management projections take center stage in bankruptcy case

In a complex bankruptcy case involving players in the petrochemical industry, the court trained its eyes on the management projections underlying a merger that led to the formation of a company that went bankrupt only a year after the close of the transaction.

Court Validates Use of IPO Valuation in Fair Value Proceeding

In shareholder suit involving pharmaceutical startup with uncertain prospects, appeals court upholds trial court’s rejection of expert testimony based on “traditional” valuation methods in favor of noncontemporary IPO valuation to determine fair value.

Kottayil v. Insys Therapeutics, Inc.

In shareholder suit involving pharmaceutical startup with uncertain prospects, appeals court upholds trial court’s rejection of expert testimony based on “traditional” valuation methods in favor of noncontemporary IPO valuation to determine fair value.

Expert’s Damages Opinion Specific Enough for Class Certification Stage

In a securities case, court applies Daubert analysis to plaintiff expert’s market efficiency opinion and event study; expert is qualified even without academic background, and his damages opinion is sufficiently specific to facts of the case and reliable.

Kardash v. Commissioner (III)

Appeals court upholds Tax Court’s transfer liability rulings; there was constructive fraud in that dividend payments to appellant were not compensation for services rendered but were part of a series of transfers leading to company’s insolvency.

Appeals Court Upholds Insolvency Rulings in Transfer Liability Case

Appeals court upholds Tax Court’s transfer liability rulings; there was constructive fraud in that dividend payments to appellant were not compensation for services rendered but were part of a series of transfers leading to company’s insolvency.

Misunderstanding of Facts Results in Overvaluation of Fuel Supply Rights

Debtor’s fuel supply rights had value either in form of an implied contract, customer relationship, or simply an income stream, court says; court does not assign specific value but finds appraiser overstated its value due to misunderstanding of key facts.

Help needed with academic research on Big Data

Please take a short, five-minute survey on the use of Big Data in forensic accounting in preventing and detecting fraud. The University of Memphis is conducting research.

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