But probably not the last.
Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro (R) brought suit against Fannie Mae on Friday in the latest of several legal actions against the nation�s largest secondary market lender.
The class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of the Ohio�s public pension funds and other Fannie Mae stockholders and charged that Fannie Mae Corporation and its top executives �manipulated earnings in a fraudulent scheme to deceive investors about (its) true financial state.�
Fannie Mae is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the U.S. Justice Department, accused of manipulating its earnings data, allegedly to trigger bonuses to top executives. The Corporation missed a SEC deadline to file its third quarter earnings last week and has said it may face an after-tax loss of $9 billion as of the end of the third quarter if the SEC finds it has been using improper accounting standards and requires a restatement of earnings.
Two groups of stockholders have also sued Fannie Mae in the last few weeks, and if previous state government originated lawsuits, such as though against tobacco companies, mutual funds, and brokerage houses, are any indication, expect to see many other states follow Ohio�s lead.
It will be interesting to see, however, the political affiliation of those state officers who do bring suit. Fannie Mae, and sister firm Freddie Mac, have long been the target of Republicans in Congress who are seeking to increase government oversight of the two giants. Democrats have, of course, taken the opposite tack, defending both corporations vigorously.