Patriot's selenium woes attract more lawyers

ANOTHER law firm is investigating Patriot Coal for alleged violation of securities laws as the floundering miner faces mounting pressure from aggrieved shareholders.
Patriot's selenium woes attract more lawyers Patriot's selenium woes attract more lawyers Patriot's selenium woes attract more lawyers Patriot's selenium woes attract more lawyers Patriot's selenium woes attract more lawyers

Courtesy Patriot Coal

Justin Niessner

The office of Los Angeles-based attorney Todd Garber announced yesterday that it was pursuing an investigation related to Patriot’s alleged accounting violations between October 2010 and July 2012.

As has been the case with similar probes from legal entities, Garber said its focus would be on possible breaches of generally accepted accounting principles and Securities Exchange Commission rules, especially relating to the cost of Patriot’s selenium water treatment requirements.

The investigation represents part of the escalating legal pressure on Patriot, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last July – causing a stock price free fall and delisting from the New York Stock Exchange.

Other legal actions concerning the beleaguered miner include a class action filed by Pennsylvania law firm Ryan & Maniskas last week alleging false and misleading statements to shareholders, and an investigation by LA firm Glancy Binkow & Goldberg into possible violations of SEC rules.

Yesterday, a Maryland-based class action litigation specialist announced a November 21 deadline for Patriot shareholders who want to be lead plaintiffs in a securities fraud class action suit.

Law firm Brower Priven also cited Patriot’s selenium water requirements in the statement.

In January 2012, Patriot settled to pay $US7.5 million in civil penalties for selenium discharges from its mining activities in West Virginia. Several legal entities have since alleged the miner may have failed to properly account for costs associated with court-ordered selenium treatments.

Last week, the Pennsylvania law firm of Howard Smith also announced an investigation regarding the alleged inconsistencies.

The news coincides with Patriot’s continued financial losses.

The miner reported a $US29.8 million net loss in August and an operating loss of 31.9 million in July.