November 27, 2019

After was hit with a host of complaints over its actions around the launch of its new cryptocurrency project tZERO, seven parties have filed motions to be named lead plaintiff, with Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, Levi & Korsinsky LLP and Pomerantz LLP among the firms vying for lead counsel.

The investors filed motions Tuesday and Wednesday seeking to consolidate the five cases brought against the internet retailer in Utah federal court, as well as appointment of lead class counsel, with Bernstein Liebhard LLP, Block & Leviton LLP, Bragar Eagel & Squire PC, Glancy Prongay & Murray LLP and Kahn Swick & Foti LLC and also in the running.

Characterizing the company's deposed founder and former CEO Patrick Byrne as vengeful and increasingly erratic, and accusing its former top accountant of deserting his post amid chaos, the first complaint, filed Sept. 27 by Benjamin Ha, describes an elaborate ploy to punish short sellers as the company struggled to redefine itself following its fall from dominance of the home goods e-commerce market.

The suit accuses the Midvale, Utah-based company of securities fraud and seeks to represent anyone who bought company stock between May 9 and Sept. 23, 2019. It says "had been on a long streak of losing money" and hadn't reported a profit in nearly three years because of its "hopeless struggle for market share" against The company developed a blockchain strategy several years ago because the writing was on the wall for its home goods e-commerce business, the suit contends.

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The Mangrove Partners fund is represented by Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC and asked the court to appoint the firm as lead counsel, with Clyde Snow & Sessions PC serving as local liaison counsel.

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Mangrove Partners is represented by local counsel Brent R. Baker, Keith M. Woodwell and Joseph D. Watkins of Clyde Snow & Sessions PC, and seeks appointment of Michael B. Eisenkraft, Laura H. Posner, Daniel H. Silverman and Allen Dreschel of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC as lead class counsel.

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