According to the lawsuit, defendants throughout the Class Period made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (1) FirstEnergy and its representatives and affiliates had orchestrated a $60 million campaign to corrupt the political process in order to secure the passage of legislation favoring the Company and its affiliates; (2) FirstEnergy and its representatives and affiliates had secretly funneled tens of millions of dollars to Ohio politicians to bribe those politicians in order to secure votes in favor of Ohio House Bill 6 (“HB 6”), a $1.3 billion ratepayer bailout for FirstEnergy’s unprofitable nuclear facilities; (3) FirstEnergy and its representatives and affiliates had conducted a massive, misleading advertising campaign in support of HB6 and in opposition to a ballot initiative to repeal HB6 by passing millions of dollars through an intricate web of ‘dark money’ entities and front companies in order to conceal the Company’s involvement; (4) FirstEnergy and its representatives and affiliates had subverted a citizens’ ballot initiative to repeal HB6 by, among other unscrupulous tactics, hiring more than 15 signature gathering firms (and thus conflicting them out of supporting the initiative) and bribing ballot initiative insiders and signature collectors; (5) as a result of the foregoing, defendants’ Class Period statements regarding FirstEnergy’s regulatory and legislative efforts were materially false and misleading; and (6) as a result of the foregoing, FirstEnergy was subject to an extreme, undisclosed risk of reputational, legal and financial harm. When the true details entered the market, the lawsuit claims that investors suffered damages.
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