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State of Ohio Teams Up With New York in Securities Fraud Lawsuit Against BP

David P. Meyer, Esq.

New York and Ohio have teamed up as co-plaintiffs in a $200 million securities fraud, class-action lawsuit against oil giant BP for losses experienced by state pension and retirement funds in the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill, according to a July 21 article published by The Business Review. Court papers were filed recently in New Orleans.

The lawsuit rests on allegations by New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray that BP misrepresented the company's safety protocols and record and that the misrepresentation resulted in artificially inflated prices for BP stock. According to the article, after the April oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, BP stock prices fell 40%.

According to the Ohio Attorney General's Office, BP's alleged securities trading at artificially high prices caused four Ohio pension funds to lose up to $126 million, as follows:

State Teachers Retirement System, $50 million

Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, $46 million

School Employees Retirement System, $16 million

Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund, $14 million

BP has not yet commented on the lawsuit.