UnitedHealth Fraud a Symptom of Sick Economy
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Since the severe economic downturn of 2008, securities-fraud class-action suits have increased tremendously and show no signs of slowing down.  Last year, UnitedHealth Group‘s massive $925.5 million dollar settlement brought the grand total to just over $3.8 billion.  Laura Simmons, a Cornerstone researcher and a professor at the Mason School of Business at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, noted that settlements last year did not even account for the downturn of 2008 and are more representative of class-action suits brought between 2004 and 2006.

In 2009 the average class-action securities settlement was $39 million, up from $28 million in 2008, according to the Cornerstone study.

A majority of these suits included purported violations of widely agreed upon accounting practices.  Twenty six percent of the class-action securities-fraud plaintiffs were represented by San Diego firm, Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP, during the last 2 years.  It was Coughlin who took on the UnitedHeath case.  UnitedHeath was accused of secretly giving backdated stock options to executives.



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