By  on June 12, 2009

A federal judge has dismissed two claims in a lawsuit against Coty Inc. brought by the fragrance firm’s former chief financial officer.

In an opinion entered June 8 in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled Michael Fishoff could not continue with claims of securities fraud against his former employer because his options in the company, which does not trade publicly, were not in fact securities. Fishoff, who served as cfo at Coty from July 2002 to December 2008, sued the company in January, accusing it of barring him from exercising stock options and then firing him because he planned legal action.

Scheindlin wrote Coty’s long-term incentive plan, the origin of Fishoff’s options, was not contributory and that neither side purchased nor sold contracts for stock. Scheindlin also dismissed his claim of common law fraud because Fishoff did not allege Coty had made any misrepresentations to him about the long-term incentive plan.

The ruling narrows the scope of the former cfo’s suit but does not dismiss it entirely. Fishoff still has claims for breach of contract, promissory estoppel and breaches of good faith and fair dealing.

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