OPERATIONS

Lumber Liquidators formaldehyde claims investigated

BY Dan Berthiaume

Toano, Va. – Boston-based class action law firm Block & Leviton said it is investigating claims that Lumber Liquidators Holdings sold floors to consumers with illegal levels of formaldehyde. Independent testing conducted at two different IAS-certified laboratories has reportedly revealed formaldehyde levels as high 0.17 ppm, three-and-a-half times the government mandated maximum emission level, in Mayflower flooring.

The investigation seeks to determine if Lumber Liquidators sold products to consumers in violation of federal and state laws. Consumers who purchased Mayflower brand flooring or other Chinese-sourced flooring products at Lumber Liquidators can contact the firm.

Lumber Liquidators has not publicly commented on these claims or on Brock & Leviton’s investigation.

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OPERATIONS

Gallup poll: Americans don’t want soft drink size limits

BY Dan Berthiaume

Washington, D.C. – A sizable majority of American consumers oppose efforts by the government to impose limits on the size of soft drinks and other sugary beverages sold in restaurants, according to results of a new Gallup poll. Sixty-nine percent of 1,015 consumers ages 18 and older said they would vote against a law limiting the size of sugary beverages to 16 oz.

Opposition was consistent across all demographic subgroups, including Democrats, Republicans, non-Hispanic whites, non-whites and all household income levels. However, Democrats, liberals, non-whites and consumers with annual household income of less than $24,000 a year were most likely to support government-imposed size limits on sugary beverages.

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FINANCE

Court upholds fraud convictions of former Duane Reade execs

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Former Duane Reade CEO Anthony Cuti and CFO William Tennant failed in an attempt to have their 2010 convictions for securities fraud overturned. The Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York upheld a June 2010 federal jury decision to find Cuti and Tennant guilty of providing misleading earnings information to shareholders and private equity group Oak Hill Capital partners, which purchased Duane Reade in 2004, between 2000 and 2004.

In August 2011, Cuti was sentenced to three years in prison and a $5 million fine on multiple charges, including conspiracy to commit securities fraud, securities fraud and making false statements to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Tennant was sentenced to time served and a $10,000 fine on a single charge of securities fraud.

Cuti is separately appealing an order to pay Oak Hill Capital Partners and Duane Reade more than $7.6 million in restitution. Walgreens bought Duane Reade from Oak Hill in 2010.

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