Can a party be held liable for fraud where it made no misleading public statements (or omissions), and had no duty to disclose, but engaged in transactions with a public corporation designed to artificially inflate the public corporation's financial statements?
Stoneridge Investment Partners, LLC, brought a securities fraud class action against Charter Communications' vendors Scientific Atlanta and Motorola, alleging a scheme in which Charter contracted with the vendors to purchase set-top cable boxes at higher-than-normal prices and sell advertising at higher-than-normal rates. These transactions served to artificially inflate Charter's stock price. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri held that Stoneridge's claim was foreclosed by the Supreme Court's decision in Central Bank, N.A. v. First Interstate Bank, N.A.,