According to the Oregon Department of Justice, the Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund (PERS) is a lead plaintiff in the national securities class action lawsuit. The pension fund is reportedly suing to recoup losses due to CenturyLink’s alleged actions.
“The message here is pretty simple: Don’t defraud your customers and shareholders,” said State Treasurer Tobias Read, who authorized the case on behalf of the pension fund. “If corporate misbehavior undermines the sustainability of public trust funds, Oregon will demand accountability on behalf of taxpayers, schools, communities and public employees.”
The ODE stated that, according to a previous lawsuit, CenturyLink urged employees to add services to lines and customer accounts without asking the customer. This is said to have resulted in millions of dollars in unauthorized charges.
Once that news broke, CenturyLink stocks took a nosedive. As of December 2017, the Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund held nearly 700,000 shares of CenturyLink equaling a value of $11.6 million. ODE said the state lost about $6 million when CenturyLink stocks tanked.
A press release regarding the litigation stated the following: “According to the class action, CenturyLink’s revenue contained ill-gotten gains that were unsustainable. In addition, the conduct will likely subject CenturyLink to heightened regulatory scrutiny; therefore, the company’s reports to shareholders and the public were false and misleading.”