Sirota & Sirota and Lovell & Stewart Announce Securities Fraud Class Action Against NetZero, Inc., its CEO, President, Directors, Investment Banks

Apr 23, 2001, 01:00 ET from Sirota & Sirota, LLP and Lovell & Stewart, LLP

    NEW YORK, April 23 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- The law firms
 of Sirota & Sirota, LLP ((212) 425-9055 or http://www.sirotalaw.com) and
 Lovell & Stewart, LLP ((212) 608-1900 or http://www.lovellstewart.com) filed a
 class action lawsuit on April 20, 2001 on behalf of all persons and entities
 who purchased, converted, exchanged or otherwise acquired the common stock of
 NetZero, Inc. (Nasdaq: NZRO) between September 23, 1999 and April 18, 2001,
 inclusive.  The lawsuit asserts claims under Sections 11, 12 and 15 of the
 Securities Act of 1933 and Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange
 Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated by the SEC thereunder and seeks to
 recover damages.   If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the
 Court no later than June 22, 2001.
     The action, Jodi Bernstein v. NetZero, Inc., et al., is pending in the
 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (500 Pearl Street,
 New York, New York), Docket No. 01-CV-3358 (WHP) and has been assigned to the
 Hon. William H. Pauley III, U.S. District Judge.  The complaint alleges that
 NetZero.com, Inc., Mark R. Goldston, its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer,
 Ronald T. Burr, its President and Director, Directors James A. Armstrong,
 Jennifer S. Fonstad and Bill Gross and former Directors David C. Bohnett and
 Paul G. Koontz violated the federal securities laws by issuing and selling
 NetZero common stock pursuant to the September 23, 1999 IPO without disclosing
 to investors that some of the underwriters in the offering, including the lead
 underwriters,  had solicited and received excessive and undisclosed
 commissions from certain investors.
     In exchange for the excessive commissions, the complaint alleges, lead
 underwriter The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. and underwriters Salomon Smith
 Barney, Inc. and BancBoston Robertson Stephens, Inc. allocated NetZero shares
 to customers at the IPO price of $16.00 per share.  To receive the allocations
 (i.e., the ability to purchase shares) at $16.00, the underwriters' brokerage
 customers had to agree to purchase additional shares in the aftermarket at
 progressively higher prices.  The requirement that customers make additional
 purchases at progressively higher prices as the price of NetZero stock
 rocketed upward (a practice known on Wall Street as "laddering") was intended
 to (and did) drive NetZero's share price up to artificially high levels.
 This artificial price inflation, the complaint alleges, enabled both the
 underwriters and their customers to reap enormous profits by buying stock at
 the $16.00 IPO price and then selling it later for a profit at inflated
 aftermarket prices, which rose as high as $30.63 during its first day of
 trading.
     Rather than allowing their customers to keep their profits from the IPO,
 the complaint alleges, the underwriters required their customers to "kick
 back" some of their profits in the form of secret commissions.  These secret
 commission payments were sometimes calculated after the fact based on how much
 profit each investor had made from his or her IPO stock allocation.
     The complaint further alleges that defendants violated the Securities Act
 of 1933 because the Prospectus distributed to investors and the Registration
 Statement filed with the SEC in order to gain regulatory approval for the
 NetZero offering contained material misstatements regarding the commissions
 that the underwriters would derive from the IPO transaction and failed to
 disclose the additional commissions and "laddering" scheme discussed above.
     Christopher Lovell, the senior partner at Lovell & Stewart, has been
 appointed lead counsel or co-lead counsel in numerous significant class
 actions, including actions involving reportedly the largest class action
 recoveries in history under three separate federal statutes (the Sherman
 Antitrust Act, the Commodity Exchange Act, and the Investment Company Act of
 1940).  These record-breaking recoveries for class plaintiffs included the
 $1.027 billion recovery in In re: NASDAQ Market-Makers Antitrust Litigation
 and a $145.35 million recovery in 1999 in In re: Sumitomo Copper Litigation, a
 class action against various parties who conspired to manipulate the worldwide
 copper and copper futures markets for their own profit.
     Howard Sirota and the Sirota & Sirota firm have taken leadership roles in
 numerous high-profile and legally significant cases, including serving as
 Chairman of the Executive Committee of plaintiffs' attorneys in the landmark
 In re: Crazy Eddie Securities Litigation case ($93 million recovery for class,
 with additional payments from defendants expected in the future) and serving
 as a member of the Executive Committee in In re: Structural Dynamics Research
 Corporation ($37.5 million recovery).
     Investors who purchased NetZero common stock during the period September
 23, 1999 through April 18, 2001 may contact Sirota & Sirota or Lovell &
 Stewart at the telephone numbers, addresses or E-mail addresses below for more
 information regarding the class action lawsuit.  Investors can also visit
 Sirota & Sirota's website at http://www.sirotalaw.com or Lovell & Stewart's
 website at http://www.lovellstewart.com to view a copy of the complaint.
 
      CONTACT:
      Lovell & Stewart, LLP
      Christopher Lovell
      Victor E. Stewart
      Christopher J. Gray
      500 Fifth Avenue
      New York, New York 10110
      (212) 608-1900
      sklovell@aol.com
 
      Sirota & Sirota, LLP
      Howard B. Sirota
      Saul Roffe
      110 Wall Street
      New York, New York 10005
      (212) 425-9055
      info@sirotalaw.com
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -- Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X84681187
 
 

SOURCE Sirota & Sirota, LLP and Lovell & Stewart, LLP
    NEW YORK, April 23 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- The law firms
 of Sirota & Sirota, LLP ((212) 425-9055 or http://www.sirotalaw.com) and
 Lovell & Stewart, LLP ((212) 608-1900 or http://www.lovellstewart.com) filed a
 class action lawsuit on April 20, 2001 on behalf of all persons and entities
 who purchased, converted, exchanged or otherwise acquired the common stock of
 NetZero, Inc. (Nasdaq: NZRO) between September 23, 1999 and April 18, 2001,
 inclusive.  The lawsuit asserts claims under Sections 11, 12 and 15 of the
 Securities Act of 1933 and Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange
 Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated by the SEC thereunder and seeks to
 recover damages.   If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the
 Court no later than June 22, 2001.
     The action, Jodi Bernstein v. NetZero, Inc., et al., is pending in the
 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (500 Pearl Street,
 New York, New York), Docket No. 01-CV-3358 (WHP) and has been assigned to the
 Hon. William H. Pauley III, U.S. District Judge.  The complaint alleges that
 NetZero.com, Inc., Mark R. Goldston, its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer,
 Ronald T. Burr, its President and Director, Directors James A. Armstrong,
 Jennifer S. Fonstad and Bill Gross and former Directors David C. Bohnett and
 Paul G. Koontz violated the federal securities laws by issuing and selling
 NetZero common stock pursuant to the September 23, 1999 IPO without disclosing
 to investors that some of the underwriters in the offering, including the lead
 underwriters,  had solicited and received excessive and undisclosed
 commissions from certain investors.
     In exchange for the excessive commissions, the complaint alleges, lead
 underwriter The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. and underwriters Salomon Smith
 Barney, Inc. and BancBoston Robertson Stephens, Inc. allocated NetZero shares
 to customers at the IPO price of $16.00 per share.  To receive the allocations
 (i.e., the ability to purchase shares) at $16.00, the underwriters' brokerage
 customers had to agree to purchase additional shares in the aftermarket at
 progressively higher prices.  The requirement that customers make additional
 purchases at progressively higher prices as the price of NetZero stock
 rocketed upward (a practice known on Wall Street as "laddering") was intended
 to (and did) drive NetZero's share price up to artificially high levels.
 This artificial price inflation, the complaint alleges, enabled both the
 underwriters and their customers to reap enormous profits by buying stock at
 the $16.00 IPO price and then selling it later for a profit at inflated
 aftermarket prices, which rose as high as $30.63 during its first day of
 trading.
     Rather than allowing their customers to keep their profits from the IPO,
 the complaint alleges, the underwriters required their customers to "kick
 back" some of their profits in the form of secret commissions.  These secret
 commission payments were sometimes calculated after the fact based on how much
 profit each investor had made from his or her IPO stock allocation.
     The complaint further alleges that defendants violated the Securities Act
 of 1933 because the Prospectus distributed to investors and the Registration
 Statement filed with the SEC in order to gain regulatory approval for the
 NetZero offering contained material misstatements regarding the commissions
 that the underwriters would derive from the IPO transaction and failed to
 disclose the additional commissions and "laddering" scheme discussed above.
     Christopher Lovell, the senior partner at Lovell & Stewart, has been
 appointed lead counsel or co-lead counsel in numerous significant class
 actions, including actions involving reportedly the largest class action
 recoveries in history under three separate federal statutes (the Sherman
 Antitrust Act, the Commodity Exchange Act, and the Investment Company Act of
 1940).  These record-breaking recoveries for class plaintiffs included the
 $1.027 billion recovery in In re: NASDAQ Market-Makers Antitrust Litigation
 and a $145.35 million recovery in 1999 in In re: Sumitomo Copper Litigation, a
 class action against various parties who conspired to manipulate the worldwide
 copper and copper futures markets for their own profit.
     Howard Sirota and the Sirota & Sirota firm have taken leadership roles in
 numerous high-profile and legally significant cases, including serving as
 Chairman of the Executive Committee of plaintiffs' attorneys in the landmark
 In re: Crazy Eddie Securities Litigation case ($93 million recovery for class,
 with additional payments from defendants expected in the future) and serving
 as a member of the Executive Committee in In re: Structural Dynamics Research
 Corporation ($37.5 million recovery).
     Investors who purchased NetZero common stock during the period September
 23, 1999 through April 18, 2001 may contact Sirota & Sirota or Lovell &
 Stewart at the telephone numbers, addresses or E-mail addresses below for more
 information regarding the class action lawsuit.  Investors can also visit
 Sirota & Sirota's website at http://www.sirotalaw.com or Lovell & Stewart's
 website at http://www.lovellstewart.com to view a copy of the complaint.
 
      CONTACT:
      Lovell & Stewart, LLP
      Christopher Lovell
      Victor E. Stewart
      Christopher J. Gray
      500 Fifth Avenue
      New York, New York 10110
      (212) 608-1900
      sklovell@aol.com
 
      Sirota & Sirota, LLP
      Howard B. Sirota
      Saul Roffe
      110 Wall Street
      New York, New York 10005
      (212) 425-9055
      info@sirotalaw.com
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -- Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X84681187
 
 SOURCE  Sirota & Sirota, LLP and Lovell & Stewart, LLP