Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro Announces Investigation of Sterling Financial Corp.

12/16/2009

Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro is investigating Sterling Financial Corp. ("Sterling") (Nasdaq: STSA) for potential violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"). Hagens Berman's investigation focuses on investments in Sterling stock in the Sterling Savings Bank Employee Savings and Investment Plan and Trust (the "Plan"), and involves concerns that the administrators of the Plan may have breached their duties of loyalty and prudence to participants and beneficiaries of the Plan. A breach may have occurred under ERISA if the plan administrators failed to manage the assets of the Plan prudently and loyally by investing the assets in Sterling stock when it was no longer a prudent investment for participants' retirement savings. 

Recently filed litigation alleges that Sterling violated federal securities laws by issuing materially false and misleading statements regarding Sterling's business and financial results and engaged in improper behavior which harmed Sterling's investors by failing to disclose the extent of seriously delinquent commercial real estate loans and construction and land loans. Sterling also failed to adequately and timely record losses for its impaired loans, causing its financial results and its Tier 1 capital ratio to be materially false. As the extent of the company's problems has begun to be revealed, Sterling's stock price has dropped precipitously, causing massive losses to the Plan and its participants. Hagens Berman is investing whether the Plan's fiduciaries may bear liability for these losses. 

If you are a current or former employee of Sterling Savings Bank and hold Sterling stock in the Sterling Savings Bank Employee Savings and Investment Plan and Trust, we encourage you to contact our attorneys at 206-623-7292 to discuss circumstances and whether or not you believe you could be involved. 

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