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Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C. Reminds Investors That Class Action Lawsuits Have Been Filed … | Your Money

NEW YORK, March 06, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C., a nationally recognized shareholder rights law firm, reminds investors that class actions have been commenced on behalf of stockholders of Oak Street Health, Inc. (NYSE: OSH), FirstCash Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: FCFS), eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH), and NRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: NRXP, NRXPW). Stockholders have until the deadlines below to petition the court to serve as lead plaintiff. Additional information about each case can be found at the link provided.

Oak Street Health, Inc. (NYSE: OSH)

Class Period: August 6, 2020 – November 8, 2021

Lead Plaintiff Deadline: March 11, 2022

On November 8, 2021, Oak Street disclosed that on November 1, 2021 the Company received a civil investigative demand (“CID”) from the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”). According to the CID, the DOJ was investigating whether the Company violated the False Claims Act. The CID also requests documents and information related to the Oak Street’s relationships with “third-party marketing agents” and Oak Street’s “provision of free transportation to federal health care beneficiaries.” On this news, the Company’s share price fell $9.75, or more than 20%, to close at $37.14 per share on November 9, 2021, on unusually heavy trading volume. The complaint filed in this class action alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and/or misleading statements, as well as failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects. Specifically, Defendants failed to disclose to investors: (1) that Oak Street maintained relationships with third-party marketing agents likely to provoke law enforcement scrutiny; (2) that Oak Street was providing free transportation to federal health care beneficiaries in a manner that would provoke law enforcement scrutiny; (3) that these activities may be violations of the False Claims Act; (4) that, as such, Oak Street was at heightened risk of investigation by the DOJ and/or other federal law enforcement agencies; (5) that, as a result, Oak Street was subject to adverse impacts related to defense and settlement costs and diversion of management resources; and (6) that, as a result of the foregoing, Defendants’ positive statements about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects were materially misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis.

For more information on the Oak Street Health class action go to: https://bespc.com/cases/OSH

FirstCash Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: FCFS)

Class Period: February 1, 2018 – November 12, 2021

Lead Plaintiff Deadline: March 15, 2022

In September 2016, the Company, then known as First Cash Financial Services Inc., finalized its merger with pawnshop provider and payday lender Cash America International, Inc. (“Cash America”). Following the merger, the combined company changed its name to FirstCash Inc. Similarly, following a December 2021 merger with lending company American First Finance, the Company again changed its name to FirstCash Holdings, Inc.

The Military Lending Act (“MLA”) provides protections for active-duty service members and their dependents in connection with the extension of consumer credit. Among other protections, the MLA limits the interest rates that may be charged on consumer loans to active-duty armed forces members and their covered dependents to no more than 36%. Further, the MLA prohibits lenders from requiring covered parties to submit to arbitration, as well as imposing other limitations.

In November 2013, Cash America entered into a Consent Order with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) for making loans to covered members of the military or their dependents in violation of the MLA, violations relating to debt collection, failure to prevent or timely detect problematic conduct due to inadequate internal compliance, and failure to maintain required records (the “Order”). In the Order, Cash America agreed to cease and desist from the violations and to implement a plan designed to ensure its future compliance with the terms of the Order. The CFPB fined Cash America $5 million and ordered it to deposit $8 million into an account in order to provide redress to affected consumers.

In 2015, the Department of Defense expanded the MLA to cover more credit products, including pawn loans. Newly covered creditors, which included pawn brokers, had until October 3, 2016 to bring their operations into compliance with the new rules.

In response to the expansion of the MLA, which prohibited the Company from issuing loans with interest rates higher than 36%, FirstCash claimed that it was “unable to offer any of its current credit products, including pawn loans, to members of the U.S. military or their dependents.” The Company also claimed throughout the Class Period that it employed robust systems, policies, and procedures to ensure its regulatory compliance and adherence to applicable laws, rules and regulations governing its business, including the MLA.

Despite these assurances, unbeknownst to investors throughout the Class Period, FirstCash was engaged in widespread and systemic violations of the MLA and had made thousands of loans to active-duty service members and their dependents at usurious rates. On November 12, 2021, the CFPB filed a lawsuit alleging that FirstCash and its subsidiary, Cash America West, Inc., had violated the MLA by charging higher than the allowable 36% annual percentage rate on over 3,600 pawn loans to more than 1,000 active-duty service members and their dependents. The CFPB also alleged that FirstCash had violated the 2013 CFPB Order prohibiting future MLA violations, which remained in effect and applied to FirstCash following the September 2016 merger of the Company and First Cash America

As a result of these revelations, the price of FirstCash stock plummeted over $7 per share, or 8%, in a single day to close at $78.64 per share on November 12, 2021 on abnormally high trading volume. The stock continued to fall in subsequent days as the market digested the news, dropping another $10 per share by November 18, 2021.

For more information on the FirstCash class action go to: https://bespc.com/cases/FCFS

eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH)

Class Period: April 26, 2018 – July 23, 2020

Lead Plaintiff Deadline: March 18, 2022

eHealth is a health insurance broker that focuses on selling Medicare-related policies on behalf of private insurers. Its main source of revenue is commissions from selling Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, and Medicare Part D prescription drug policies. On January 1, 2018, eHealth adopted and implemented a new accounting standard for recognizing revenue. This standard, referred to herein as Accounting Standard Codification 606 or ASC 606, allowed eHealth to recognize immediately the entirety of the commissions it expected to receive over the expected life of the policies. Although eHealth sold annual policies that could be cancelled at any time by the consumer, it assumed that its policies would be renewed for several years. Consequently, for many of eHealth’s Medicare-related policies, it recognized between three and five years of commissions immediately upon the sale of the policy.

The Complaint in the Class Action alleges that the assumption that eHealth’s customers would renew its policies was unrealistic and contrary to eHealth’s recent experience of both cancellations and renewals. Beginning in 2017, eHealth started soliciting Medicare customers with television advertising. Late-night commercials boasting $0 monthly plan premiums effectively generated a surge in customers in a short period of time. Between 2017 and 2018, the number of Medicare-related insurance applications submitted to eHealth by applicants grew by 39%. These customers, however, were notorious for cancelling their policies in short periods of time, causing eHealth to experience sky-rocketing “member churn” ratios, i.e., the percentage of customers who cancel their policies within the first year. Notwithstanding, eHealth was able to provide analysts and investors with record-setting earnings due to the fact that it was able to recognize three- to five-years of commission revenue for these policies upfront and immediately.

The Complaint further alleges that Class members were materially harmed by eHealth’s false and misleading statements. As a direct result of Defendants’ materially false and misleading statements, eHealth’s stock price artificially increased from a relative steady price of around $15.32 per share of common stock on March 19, 2018 to $136.32 prior to April 8, 2020. It was on that day that Muddy Waters Capital, a well-known and highly respected research firm, published a report revealing eHealth’s accounting misconduct. The report disclosed, among other things, that eHealth’s “highly aggressive accounting masks [] a significantly unprofitable business,” “that the key driver of growth since 2018 has been EHTH’s reliance on Direct Response television advertising, which attracts an unprofitable, high churn enrollee,” “that EHTH’s persistence assumptions in its LTV model [under ASC 606] seem highly aggressive when compared to reality.” Muddy Waters report also disclosed that eHealth’s financial statements for 2019: (a) overstated revenue by $128 million; (b) overstated operating profit by $263 million; and (c) understated an operating loss of -$181 million. The Muddy Waters report resulted in a sharp decline in the price of eHealth’s stock, plummeting to $103.20 per share.

Subsequently, on July 23, 2020, when eHealth announced its earnings results for the second quarter of fiscal 2020, its stock price fell again as the information contained in its announcement confirmed substantive aspects of the “member churn” allegations previously asserted in the Muddy Waters report. In response, eHealth’s stock price declined from a closing price of $114 per share on July 23, 2020 to $79.17 per share on July 24, 2020.

For more information on the eHealth class action go to: https://bespc.com/cases/EHTH

NRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: NRXP, NRXPW)

Class Period: June 1, 2021 – November 4, 2021

Lead Plaintiff Deadline: March 21, 2022

NRx is a clinical-stage small molecule pharmaceutical company that develops various therapeutics for the treatment of central nervous system disorders and life-threatening pulmonary diseases. The Company’s products include, among others, ZYESAMI, an investigational pre-commercial drug for COVID-19 related respiratory failure.

In June 2021, NRx announced that it filed an application with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) requesting Emergency Use Authorization (“EUA”) for ZYESAMI (Aviptadil-acetate) to treat critically ill COVID-19 patients suffering with respiratory failure (the “ZYESAMI EUA Application”).

The complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operations, and compliance policies. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) the ZYESAMI EUA Application contained insufficient data regarding the potential benefits and risks of ZYESAMI; (ii) accordingly, the FDA was unlikely to approve the ZYESAMI EUA Application in its present form; and (iii) as a result, the Company’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.

On November 4, 2021, NRx issued a press release “announc[ing] that the [FDA] has declined to issue an [EUA] for ZYESAMI® (aviptadil). The FDA stated that it was unable to issue the EUA at this time due to insufficient data regarding the known and potential benefits of the medicine and the known and potential risks of ZYESAMI in patients suffering from Critical COVID-19 with respiratory failure.”

On this news, NRx’s stock price fell $2.27 per share, or 25.45%, to close at $6.65 per share on November 5, 2021.

For more information on the NRx Pharmaceuticals class action go to: https://bespc.com/cases/NRXP

About Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C.:

Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C. is a nationally recognized law firm with offices in New York, California, and South Carolina. The firm represents individual and institutional investors in commercial, securities, derivative, and other complex litigation in state and federal courts across the country. For more information about the firm, please visit www.bespc.com. Attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes.

Contact Information:

Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C. Brandon Walker, Esq. Alexandra B. Raymond, Esq. (212) 355-4648 [email protected]www.bespc.com