Pennsylvania Record

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

New Jersey federal judge transfers securities class action against USA Technologies to Pennsylvania


By Karen Kidd | Nov 1, 2019


NEWARK, N.J. — A securities litigation class action alleging a Pennsylvania company's falsified financial reports cost one investor nearly $2 million has been transferred from a federal court in New Jersey.

In her eight-page opinion issued Sept. 30, New Jersey District Court Judge Claire C. Cecchi granted a defense motion to transfer a class action against USA Technologies Inc. (USAT) to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Cecchi found, among other matters, that it would be more practical for the case to be heard in Pennsylvania, where the trial would be "easy, expeditious or inexpensive," Cecchi said in her opinion.

"Pennsylvania has a greater interest in this case than New Jersey as the alleged misrepresentations were made in Pennsylvania by a Pennsylvania company," Cecchi's opinion noted. "Pennsylvania courts are particularly suited to addressing these claims because Pennsylvania is the center of gravity and Pennsylvania has a strong interest in regulating activity within its borders."

The opinion was issued "not for publication," which means it is not to be cited or used as precedent in future cases.

Two days after Cecchi issued her order, the case was opened in on the Eastern District of Pennsylvania under case number 2:19-cv-04565.

The case arises from allegations against defendants USA Technologies and its CEO Stephen P. Herbert and former CFO Priyanka Singh making false and misleading statements in USAT's annual and quarterly financial reports, according to the background portion of Cecchi's

USAT, based in Malvern, "provides cashless transactions and other services in the United States and internationally," Cecchi's order said.

The defendants are being sued as part of class action by lead defendant Pinkesh Nahar, who alleges USAT executives misrepresented financial reports and falsely signed certificates, as required under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, that alleged the reports were accurate.

Nahar, Stéphane Gouet, David Gray and Anthony Phillips filed separate securities class actions that were later consolidated, and Nahar became lead plaintiff.

"[The] plaintiff is a sophisticated investor who purchased USAT securities during the class period and suffered a loss of $1,996,108.28," Cecchi's order said. "[The] plaintiff contends that as a result of defendants' acts and omissions, plaintiff and other class members suffered significant losses and damages."

Nahar opposed transfer of the case.

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U.S. District Court for the District of MassachusettsU.S. District Court for the District of New JerseyU.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

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