Legal firm Milberg Weiss has expanded the lawsuit filed against Apple Computer, alleging that the company worked to inflate its stock prices during several months of last year.

The action was originally taken on behalf of the Hawaii Structural Iron Workers Pension Trust Fund. It's alleged that Apple confirmed problems regarding the production of Power Mac G4 Cubes and weak iMac sales to the educational market last year only after four Apple executives had sold 370,000 shares worth $22 million.

The suit has now been expanded to become a class action. This means the legal firm can advise that those who purchased shares of Apple common stock between July 19 and September 28, 2000, may qualify to participate in the litigation.

The suit alleges that, just 20-25 trading days after the Apple executives shifted their stock, Apple "shocked" investors by revealing a huge fourth quarter 2000 revenue shortfall due to poor education sales and "poor consumer acceptance of some of its latest products". Apple's stock then collapsed from $61 to $25, continuing to fall to $13 - a decline that wiped out over $10 billion of Apple's market capitalization in a few days.

The plaintiffs are seeking damages.