CAR_Public/040223.mbx            C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R
  
           Monday, February 23, 2004, Vol. 6, No. 37

                        Headlines                            

ARIENS CO.: Recalls 571 Sno-Throw Models Due To Injury Hazard
BANK OF AMERICA: CA Court Grants Approval To Consumer Settlement
BASF CORPORATION: MN Court Upholds $56M Award To U.S. Farmers
ENRON CORPORATION: Ex-CEO Pleads Not Guilty To Insider Trading
ENRON CORPORATION: SEC Lodges Fraud Charges V. Former CFO in TX

FLORIDA: FL Doctor Arrested, Charged With Prescription Fraud
GRAND HALL: Recalls 162,000 Barbecue Grills Due To Injury Hazard
IDAHO: AG Announces Distribution of Antitrust Settlement Checks
IDT VENTURE: SEC Files Proceedings For Securities Act Violations
JACKWEST CORPORATION: Securities Fraud Sanctions Deemed Final

JDS UNIPHASE: CA Court To Hear Dismissal Motions For Stock Suit
JDS UNIPHASE: CA Court Asked To Grant Derivative Suit Dismissal
JOHN TURANT: SEC Issues Admin. Proceedings For Securities Fraud
MARY MEYER: Recalls 10T Activity Spider Toys For Choking Hazard
NORTH CAROLINA: AG Says CD Suit Settlement Checks Soon in Mail

PATROLLERS CAPITAL: SEC Lodges Securities Fraud Complaint in NY
PSS WORLD: FL Court Hears Certification Motion For Stock Lawsuit
PSS WORLD: Reaches Settlement For Securities Lawsuit in M.D. FL
PSS WORLD: Parties in FL Overtime Suit Start Extensive Discovery
RESEARCH INVESTMENT: Admin. Judge Imposes Sanctions For Fraud

RURAL/METRO CORPORATION: AZ Court Junks Claims in ERISA Lawsuit
SECURITY ASSET: SEC Launches Civil Action For Securities Fraud
SINGING MACHINE: Plaintiffs To File Securities Suit in FL Court
SPORT-HALEY INC.: Plaintiffs Seek Preliminary Approval for Pact
SUHEIL JUDEH: SEC Launches Suit For Securities Fraud V. Trader

TRANSACTION SYSTEMS: Parties in Securities Suit Enter Mediation
TRANSACTION SYSTEMS: Two NE Shareholder Derivative Suits Stayed
TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Ex-CFO Swartz Testifies on Company Loans
VALEANT PHARMACEUTICALS: Reaches Settlement For DE Stock Lawsuit
VERMONT: 8,000 Consumers To Receive Share in CD Antitrust Pact

                  New Securities Fraud Cases

AGCO CORPORATION: Brian Felgoise Launches Securities Suit in IL
AGCO CORPORATION: Charles Piven Files Securities Suit in N.D. IL
AGCO CORPORATION: Lasky & Rifkind Lodges Securities Suit in IL
AMERICAN BUSINESS: Marc Henzel Lodges Securities Suit in E.D. PA
DATATEC SYSTEMS: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Lawsuit in NJ

DATATEC SYSTEMS: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges NJ Securities Suit
DATATEC SYSTEMS: Cauley Geller Launches Securities Lawsuit in NJ
DATATEC SYSTEMS: Shalov Stone Commences Securities Lawsuit in NJ
DATATEC SYSTEMS: Brian Felgoise Launches Securities Suit in NJ
EL PASO: Abbey Gardy Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in S.D. TX

EL PASO CORPORATION: Chitwood & Harley Lodges Stock Suit in TX
INTERPOOL INC.: Marc Henzel Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NJ
MEDICAL STAFFING: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Suit in S.D. FL
PROGRESS ENERGY: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. NY
RYLAND GROUP: Cauley Geller Launches Securities Suit in C.D. CA

                        *********

ARIENS CO.: Recalls 571 Sno-Throw Models Due To Injury Hazard
-------------------------------------------------------------
Ariens Co. is cooperating with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety
Commission by voluntarily recalling 571 units of its 13-
Horsepower Sno-Throw(tm), Model 924506.

The blade may not stop when the blade brake control is applied,
resulting in continued blade movement.  The potential for injury
exists if consumers make contact with the rotary blade.  Ariens
Co. has not received any reports of injuries.

Home Depot stores in U.S. and Canada sold these items from
October 7, 2003 to October 24, 2003 for between $2,500 and
$2,800.  Some units were sold elsewhere but Ariens already has
notified those consumers.

Consumers should stop using these snow throwers immediately and
return them to Home Depot or a local Ariens dealer for a free
inspection and, if needed, repair.  To access the serial numbers
for the units affected, check the Ariens Web site:
http://www.ariens.com/safety_recall

For more information, contact the Company by Phone:
(888) 927-4367 between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. CT Monday through
Friday.


BANK OF AMERICA: CA Court Grants Approval To Consumer Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
An Oakland District Court judge granted preliminary approval of
a settlement in a class action lawsuit by trust beneficiaries
against Bank of America.  

Under the Final Settlement, Bank of America will pay $33 million
(plus accrued interest).  This is in addition to $36.5 million
Bank of America paid to settle other portions of the case
several years ago, as well as refunds of $42 million made in
1993-1994.

The settlement arises from a ten-year dispute concerning
overcharges of trustee fees on "fixed fee" trusts managed by
Security Pacific National Bank. Security Pacific, which was
merged into Bank of America in 1992, allegedly had overcharged
fees for administering approximately 2,600 trusts that set the
amount of fees that could be charged (a "fixed fee").  In 1993
and 1994, Bank of America reduced the fees to the fixed fee rate
and refunded $24 million in overcharges, plus an additional $18
million in simple interest, for a total refund of $42 million.

In this lawsuit, the trust beneficiaries alleged, among other
things, that Bank of America's simple interest refunds were
inadequate and that the beneficiaries were owed additional
compensation. The beneficiaries also alleged that they were
entitled to punitive damages for the overcharges and related
conduct.

In 1996, the District Court ruled following a non-jury trial
that no additional compensation was owed, but scheduled a jury
trial on the punitive damages relating to Security Pacific's
conduct. Bank of America settled the punitive damages claims and
other portions of the case for $36.5 million in the fall of
2000, but this earlier settlement allowed plaintiff to appeal
the District Court's ruling that simple interest was an adequate
remedy.

In May, 2002, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed in
part, holding that the trust beneficiaries were entitled to
recover not just simple interest but the profits the trustee
banks made with the overcharged fees, and remanded the case back
to the District Court for a determination of the amount of
profits the trustee banks made and the amount, if any, due under
the earlier settlement.  The Ninth Circuit, however, affirmed
other portions of the District Court's decision.

Following additional proceedings in the District Court, the
parties--who disagreed as to the amount of the bank's profits
and how to measure them and the additional amount, if any, due
under the earlier settlement-agreed to this Final Settlement of
$33 million.

Bank of America maintained in a statement that it made full
refunds to all trust beneficiaries with interest before this
litigation commenced and that it acted at all times in good
faith and in the best interest of the trusts and their
beneficiaries.  Nevertheless, the Bank concluded that further
litigation would be protracted and expensive and settled the
litigation.  The settlement specifically provides that it shall
not indicate any fault or wrongdoing on the part of Bank of
America, nor any weaknesses in the defenses it asserted.

The settlement is still subject to final court approval. The
trust beneficiaries are being sent further information about
their participation in the settlement if it is approved.

For more information, contact Alexandra Trower by Phone:
646-313-8842 or Robert W. Mills of The Mills Law Firm by Phone:
415-455-1326 or 415-518-0440 (Cell)


BASF CORPORATION: MN Court Upholds $56M Award To U.S. Farmers
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Minnesota Supreme Court approved a Norman County (MN) jury
award and judgment of $56 million against New Jersey-based BASF
Corporation for defrauding United States' farmers in the sale of
a herbicide in a national class action.

After a five week trial that concluded on December 6, 2001 a
jury unanimously found that BASF committed consumer fraud in the
sale of Poast herbicide sold in all 50 states from 1992-96.  In
a March 11, 2003 ruling the Minnesota Court of Appeals - an
intermediate appellate court - also upheld the jury verdict and
judgment for farmers.

"It is great to be wearing a white hat in a case like this,"
said Minneapolis attorney Douglas Nill who, with attorney Hugh
Plunkett represents the farmers.  "For seven years this world's
largest chemical company has pounded us with a blizzard of
paper. It is a tremendous victory for consumers."

Trial evidence established that BASF defrauded thousands of
farmers by marketing the same herbicide as different products -
Poast and Poast Plus - at different prices as a "system of
deceit" to extract inflated prices for the same herbicide from
minor crop farmers.

"BASF concealed from farmers and state regulatory authorities
that the cheaper Poast Plus, sold to soybean growers, a 'major'
national crop, was approved by the EPA for use on the same crops
as the more expensive Poast sold to growers of 'minor' crops
such as sunflowers, sugarbeets, potatoes, vegetables and
fruits," Mr. Nill said in a statement.

"BASF's marketing misconduct was horrid," he said.  "The jury
heard evidence that BASF lied to state regulatory authorities,
food processors, farmers and others to conceal a federal
regulatory action, namely, the EPA registration of Poast Plus
for the same crops as Poast, using the same safety data. BASF
threatened, encouraged and allowed the criminal prosecutions of
farmers for 'off-label' use of cheaper Poast Plus as a marketing
'strategy'. BASF considered the 'risk' of farmers discovering
the truth, and whether United States farmers could be
'controlled in future' if BASF's fraudulent marketing and
pricing schemes for Poast and Poast Plus were discovered."

BASF's appeal of the jury verdict attracted national attention
from business stalwarts.  Submitting "friend of the court"
briefs to the Minnesota Supreme Court on behalf of BASF were
U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Independent
Insurers, American Tort Reform Association, CropLife America,
National Association of Manufacturers and American Chemistry
Council, Product Liability Advisory Council, and Washington
Legal Foundation.

The State of Minnesota, through Attorney General Mike Hatch,
American Sugarbeet Growers' Association, Minnesota Farmers
Union, and Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association, joined the
appellate fray with "friend of the court" briefs on behalf of
farmers.

"The chemical corporations are anxious," Mr. Nill said.  "BASF
admitted during trial that the entire industry has engaged in
these marketing games. The entire industry has engaged in a
charade of selling the same product as different products for
different uses, while exploiting regulations intended to protect
the safety of people and the environment, to extract higher
prices from segments of the consumer market."

BASF threatens to continue its appeal of the jury verdict to the
US Supreme Court.  "BASF repetitively argues frivolous defenses
rejected by Minnesota and all appellate courts," Mr. Nill said.
"BASF will continue its paper blizzard strategy to hold its ill-
gotten money and delay payment to injured farmers."

Mr. Nill says the 11 Minnesota, Montana and North Dakota farmers
who represent the Class will do a pro rata distribution of the
jury's "common fund" damage award to injured farmers across the
United States who can be located and submit claims.

"A pro rata distribution of the 'common fund' to injured class
members after a jury verdict and judgment is required by law,"
he said.  A pro rata distribution means that the entire damage
award, after payment of attorney fees and costs, will be
distributed to the class members who make claims.

"An identifying characteristic of a common and undivided
interest is that if one plaintiff cannot or does not collect his
share, the shares of the remaining plaintiffs are increased,"
said Nill.  "If only 25 percent of farmers who are class members
can be located and make claims, those 25 percent of the farmers
share 100 percent of the 'common fund' available for
distribution . Farmers who make claims are going to be getting
cold, hard cash."

For more details, contact Mr. Nill by E-mail: dnill@farmlaw.com.


ENRON CORPORATION: Ex-CEO Pleads Not Guilty To Insider Trading
--------------------------------------------------------------
Former Enron Corporation chief executive Jeffrey Skilling
pleaded not guilty to a 42-count criminal indictment, accusing
him of participating in widespread schemes to mislead government
regulators and investors about the Company's earnings, the
Associated Press reports.

The indictment, unsealed Thursday, charged Mr. Skilling, 50, and
Enron's former chief accounting officer Richard Causey, 44, of
participating in the fraudulent accounting schemes, which later
lead to the energy giant's collapse in late 2001.  Mr. Causey,
44, was indicted a month ago and is free on $500,000 bond.

Mr. Skilling faces 36 of the counts, with10 of them charging him
with insider trading that generated $62.6 million from stock
sold from April 2000 through September 2001, which was about a
month after he quit the Company.

Former chief financial officer Andrew Fastow and former
treasurer Ben Glisan were also mentioned in the indictment.  Mr.
Fastow has pleaded guilty to charges and is cooperating with
federal prosecutors, while Mr. Glisan pleaded guilty to
conspiracy and is now in prison.

"I plead not guilty to all counts," Mr. Skilling told U.S.
Magistrate Judge Frances Stacy, who set bond for him at $5
million, AP reports.  One of three attorneys accompanying him
before the judge told her he was prepared to post the bond in
cash.

Mr. Skilling surrendered to the Federal Bureau of Investigation
earlier Thursday, and is scheduled to make another court
appearance on March 11.  Prosecutors said Mr. Skilling faced a
maximum total of 325 years in prison and over $80 million in
fines if convicted of all the counts.


ENRON CORPORATION: SEC Lodges Fraud Charges V. Former CFO in TX
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission filed
accounting fraud chares against former Enron Corporation chief
executive Jeffrey Skilling in the United States District Court
for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, the
Associated Press reports.

In a statement, the SEC said that Mr. Skilling and his other
fellow executives engaged in a "wide-ranging scheme to defraud
by manipulating Enron's publicly reported financial results."  
The SEC seeks repayment of ill-gotten gains by Mr. Skilling,
fines and a permanent bar against his working as a director or
officer of a public corporation.

According to the SEC, Mr. Skilling made unlawful proceeds of $63
million by selling Enron stock at inflated prices between April
2000 and September 2001.  He did the trading while in possession
of material, inside information "about Enron's actual financial
performance and the failure of its business units," it said, AP
reports.


FLORIDA: FL Doctor Arrested, Charged With Prescription Fraud
------------------------------------------------------------
Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist announced that an
investigation by the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control
Unit has led to the arrest of a Belleview physician, who is
being charged with prescription fraud.

Dr. Arthur E. Paraiso, whose practice is located in the small
Marion County town of Belleview, was investigated by the
Medicaid Fraud Control Unit as part of an ongoing crackdown on
Medicaid provider fraud.  The investigation began after the
Attorney General's Office received a complaint.

During the course of the investigation, undercover investigators
received prescriptions for narcotics even after advising Dr.
Paraiso that they were not suffering from pain.  Dr. Paraiso is
accused of illegally dispensing hydrocodone to the undercover
investigators with no medical justification.

"This is another step in the effort to stop the flow of
illegally prescribed, and obtained, prescription drugs," said AG
Crist.  "People are dying from prescription drug abuse. Part of
the solution is to continue our mission of shutting down those
individuals and facilities that are part of the problem."

Dr. Paraiso, 67, of Ocala, was charged with four counts of
prescription fraud in violation of sections 893.13(8)(a)(1) and
893.13(8)(c), Florida Statutes.  Each count is punishable by up
to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

The Belleview Police Department assisted in the arrest of Dr.
Paraiso.  The case will be prosecuted by the Fifth Circuit State
Attorney's Office in Marion County.


GRAND HALL: Recalls 162,000 Barbecue Grills Due To Injury Hazard
----------------------------------------------------------------
Grand Hall Enterprise Co. Ltd. of Taiwan is cooperating with the
United States Consumer Product Safety Commission by voluntarily
recalling about 162,000 Bakers & Chefs(r), Members Mark(r) and
Kenmore models Gas Barbecue Grills.  

If moisture gets inside the temperature gauge, the glass cover
on the gauge can break, posing a risk of injury to people
nearby.  Grand Hall Enterprise Co. Ltd. has received eight
reports of temperature gauges breaking, two of which resulted in
minor injuries.

The recall includes Bakers & Chefs(r) grills with model numbers
Y0655 and Y0656; Members Mark(r) grills with model number Y0660;
and Kenmore grills with model numbers 15221 and 15223.  The
model number can be located on a silver ID tag on the back or
side of the grill head.

The recalled grills are stainless steel construction or painted
steel and have the brand name on the front control panel or on
the grill lid.  The Bakers & Chefs(r) grills have two casters,
two wheels and two side shelves.  The Members Mark(r) grill has
four casters, two side shelves and a side burner. The Kenmore
grills have four casters.

SAM'S CLUB(r) and Sears stores sold these items nationwide from
April 2001 through December 2002.  The Members Mark(r) grills
sold for about $1,500.  The other grills sold for between $249
and $299.

Owners of the recalled grills will receive a free repair kit or
replacement temperature gauge directly from the company.  The
repair kit will consist of a "Glass-Gard" protective film and
instructions on how to place the film on the glass covering of
the gauge.  Testing confirms that the glass does not explode
when the Glass-Gard is in place.  

Consumers should not use the grill until the Glass-Gard has been
installed in accordance with the instructions.  Consumers who
have not received a repair kit or need assistance performing the
repair should contact the Company by Phone: (888) 735-5709
between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or visit
the firm's Website: http://www.grandhall.com.


IDAHO: AG Announces Distribution of Antitrust Settlement Checks
---------------------------------------------------------------
Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden announced that Idahoans
who filed claims for prerecorded music purchases between
December 2002 and March 2003 will be receiving refund checks
soon.  All Idahoans who filed claims by the filing deadline were
approved for cash payment.  Those payments will be mailed
beginning on February 20.  Idahoans will receive refund checks
totaling $214,830.

Five of the largest U.S. distributors of prerecorded music
compact discs (CDs) and three large retailers had previously
agreed to settle a price fixing lawsuit brought by 40 states,
including Idaho, and three territories.

Attorney General Wasden joined other state attorneys general in
the lawsuit alleging the defendants conspired to illegally raise
the prices of certain prerecorded music products by implementing
Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) policies in violation of state
and federal antitrust laws.

Defendants in the settlement are:

     (1) Bertelsmann Music Group, Inc.,

     (2) EMI Music Distribution,

     (3) Warner-Elektra-Atlantic Corporation,

     (4) Sony Music Entertainment, Inc.,

     (5) Universal Music Group,

     (6) Transworld Entertainment Corporation,

     (7) Tower Records, and

     (8) Musicland Stores Corporation

In agreeing to settle the lawsuit, the defendants have denied
all allegations of wrongdoing.

Approximately 3.5 million individuals, including 15,500
Idahoans, filed claims.  Members of the settlement group
included those persons who purchased prerecorded music products
(compact discs, cassettes and vinyl albums) from retailers
during the period January 1, 1995 through December 22, 2000.  
Each claimant can expect to receive a check for $13.86.

In addition to the refunds, the settlement also provides for a
distribution of music CDs to organizations.  Attorney General
Wasden's Consumer Protection Unit will oversee the distribution
of 25,000 compact discs with an estimated value of $342,000.  
The compact discs will be distributed to public libraries
throughout Idaho pursuant to the federal court approved
distribution plan.  This distribution will occur in the next 60
to 90 days.  The overall monetary value of the settlement,
nationally, is $143 million.  For Idaho, the overall value of
the settlement is $556,830.

"The defendants in this case harmed both consumers and
competitors through their unlawful activity," Attorney General
Wasden said.  "Enforcement of the states' antitrust laws
restores competition to the marketplace to the benefit of both
business and consumers."

Idahoans may receive updates and complete settlement information
via the Attorney General's website:  http://www.state.id.us/ag


IDT VENTURE: SEC Files Proceedings For Securities Act Violations
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission issued an Order
Instituting Public Proceedings and Notice of Hearing pursuant to
Section 12(j) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 against IDT
Venture Group, Inc.

IDT Venture, a Florida corporation headquartered in Boca Raton,
Florida, purportedly invested venture capital in other
companies.  IDT Venture registered common stock with the
Commission.

The Order alleges that IDT Venture failed to file annual reports
on Forms 10-KSB for the years ended February 28, 2001, February
28, 2002, and February 28, 2003.  The Order also alleges that
IDT Venture failed to file quarterly reports on Form 10-QSB for
the quarters ended:  May 31, 2001; August 31, 2001; November 30,
2001; May 31, 2002; August 31, 2002; November 30, 2002; May 31,
2003; and August 31, 2003.
     
Based on the above, the Order seeks to determine what, if any,
remedial action is appropriate in the public interest against
IDT Venture pursuant to Section 12(j) of the Exchange Act.  The
Order requires Administrative Law Judge to issue an initial
decision no later than 120 days from the date of service of this
Order, pursuant to Rule 360(a)(2) of the Commission's Rules of
Practice.  


JACKWEST CORPORATION: Securities Fraud Sanctions Deemed Final
-------------------------------------------------------------
The decision of an administrative law judge with respect to
Kevin H. Goldstein and Jackwest Corporation has become final,
according to the Securities and Exchange Commission News Digest.  
The law judge sanctioned Mr. Goldstein and Jackwest based on
findings that Mr. Goldstein and Jackwest willfully violated
Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Exchange Act Rule 10b-
5.   

The law judge found that Mr. Goldstein solicited potential
investors by making several fraudulent misrepresentations and
omissions of material facts.  The law judge also found that Mr.
Goldstein used the misrepresentations to induce individuals to
invest their funds in Jackwest and diverted substantial portions
of the invested funds for his personal use.

The law judge ordered that Mr. Goldstein cease and desist from
committing or causing any violations or any future violations of
the provisions that he violated and barred him from association
with any broker or dealer.  The law judge also ordered Mr.
Goldstein to pay a civil penalty of $120,000, ordered him and
Jackwest to disgorge $516,00, plus prejudgment interest of
$142,409, and to pay postjudgment interest on all funds owed.   


JDS UNIPHASE: CA Court To Hear Dismissal Motions For Stock Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
California is set to hear motions seeking dismissal of the
consolidated securities class action filed against JDS Uniphase
Corporation and certain of its former and current officers and
directors.

The suit purports to be brought on behalf of a class consisting
of those who acquired the Company's securities from October 28,
1999, through July 26, 2001, as well as on behalf of subclasses
consisting of those who acquired the Company's common stock
pursuant to its acquisitions of OCLI, E-TEK, and SDL.  The
complaint seeks unspecified damages and alleges various
violations of the federal securities laws, specifically Sections
10(b), 14(a), 20(a), and 20A of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934 and Sections 11, 12(a)(2), and 15 of the Securities Act of
1933.

Defendants plan to move to dismiss the complaint on February 23,
2004, and a hearing on that motion is set for May 7, 2004, the
Company stated in a disclosure to the Securities and Exchange
Commission.


JDS UNIPHASE: CA Court Asked To Grant Derivative Suit Dismissal
---------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs asked the United States District Court for the
Northern District of California to dismiss the amended
shareholder derivative suit filed against JDS Uniphase
Corporation's current and former officers and directors,
purporting to be brought on the Company's behalf.  The suit,
styled "Corwin v. Kaplan, No. C-02-2020 CW," asserts state law
claims for:

     (1) breach of fiduciary duty,

     (2) misappropriation of confidential information,

     (3) waste of corporate assets,

     (4) indemnification, and

     (5) insider trading  

Defendants are scheduled to file a motion to dismiss the
complaint on March 1, 2004.  Briefing on the motion will
continue through March and April.  A hearing on the motion and a
case management conference is set for May 7, 2004.

A stay remains in place pending the federal securities and
derivative cases in the California state derivative action, "In
re JDS Uniphase Corporation Derivative Litigation, Master File
No. CV806911," filed in the Santa Clara Superior Court in
California.  Plaintiffs have stated their intent to challenge
the stay, and a hearing on their motion to lift the stay is
scheduled for March 4, 2004.  No activity has occurred in
"Cromas v. Straus, Civil Action No. 19580," filed in Delaware
Chancery Court.


JOHN TURANT: SEC Issues Admin. Proceedings For Securities Fraud
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission issued an Order
Instituting Administrative Proceedings against John F. Turant,
Jr. Pursuant to Section 15(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934 and Section 203(f) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940
(the Order) based on a final judgment entered by the Honorable
Richard P. Conaboy on January 29, 2004, in the U.S. District
Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

The final judgment, among other things, permanently enjoins Mr.
Turant from violating Sections 5(a), 5(c) and 17(a) of the
Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.  The suit is
styled "SEC v. Turant, et al., Civil Action No. 3:CV03-1614."

In the injunctive action filed on September 15, 2003, the
Commission alleged that from July 1999 until March 2003, Mr.
Turant, among others, engaged in a scheme to defraud over 100
investors of approximately $4.5 million through the offer and
sale of unregistered securities.  The Commission further alleged
that Mr. Turant and his co-defendants falsely promised investors
that they would invest investor money in one of two purported
hedge funds for the purpose of day-trading securities, and that
these funds made annual returns from 20% through 120%.   

In fact, Mr. Turant and his co-defendants misappropriated the
vast majority of the money raised for their own personal use and
to repay existing investors, thereby conducting a Ponzi scheme.  
The Commission also alleged that Mr. Turant and his co-
defendants concealed their scheme by creating and distributing
fictitious monthly account statements and other documents that
reported false balances and false profits in the purported hedge
fund accounts.  


MARY MEYER: Recalls 10T Activity Spider Toys For Choking Hazard
---------------------------------------------------------------
Mary Meyer Corporation is cooperating with the United States
Consumer Product Safety Commission, by voluntarily recalling
10,000 units of the "Webster" Activity Spider Toy.

The round, stuffed feet on the spider can detach, posing a
choking hazard to young children.  The Company has received five
reports of the spider's feet detaching.  No injuries have been
reported.

The toy is a plush bug-shaped activity toy, which also can be
hung from a crib, carriage or other object.  The plush spider
toy has eight legs with round stuffed feet that crinkle or
rattle and a mirror on the underside that makes a squeaky sound
when bounced.

Department and specialty stores nationwide sold the items from
January 2002 through September 2003 for about $10.

For more details, contact the Company by Phone: (800) 451-4387
between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday for
instructions on returning the spider toy and receiving the
replacement product.


NORTH CAROLINA: AG Says CD Suit Settlement Checks Soon in Mail
--------------------------------------------------------------
North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper announced that
consumers who applied for refunds as part of a settlement with
CD distributors and retailers should soon see refund checks in
the mail.

In a statement, AG Cooper said, "Record labels and music
retailers hiked prices and overcharged consumers . People who
paid too much deserved some money back and now they'll get it."

Checks will go out in the mail tomorrow to more than 78,000
North Carolinians who applied for the refunds.  Nationwide, 3.5
million consumers filed to receive refund checks.  To qualify,
consumers had to have purchased cassette tapes, compact discs or
record albums from a music retailer between January 1, 1995 and
December 22, 2000.  Consumers who filed their refund claim by
the March 3, 2003 deadline can expect to receive refund checks
worth $13.86.  

Settlement funds are the result of an agreement to resolve
allegations by the states that 5 of the largest music
distributors and 3 national music retailers illegally conspired
to raise the prices of CDs.  Named as defendants in the suit
brought by AG Cooper and 43 other attorneys general are:

     (1) Bertelsmann Music Group, Inc.,

     (2) EMI Music Distribution,

     (3) Warner-Elektra-Atlantic Corporation,

     (4) Sony Music Entertainment, Inc.,

     (5) Universal Music Group

     (6) Transworld Entertainment Corporation,

     (7) Tower Records, and

     (8) Musicland Stores Corporation  

All defendants denied the claims but agreed to change their
advertising and sales practices and to pay more than $48 million
to compensate consumers.  The defendants will also provide 5.6
million music CDs worth $77 million to be distributed to
schools, libraries and non-profits.  North Carolina will receive
approximately 156,000 CDs worth $2.1 million under the
settlement.

The multistate antitrust settlement was approved by a court on
June 13, 2003 but distribution of refunds and CDs were delayed
by appeals.  For more details on the settlement and refund
distribution, visit the website:
http://www.musiccdsettlement.com.


PATROLLERS CAPITAL: SEC Lodges Securities Fraud Complaint in NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed securities fraud
charges against "Patrollers Capital Fund" and its principal,
Franklin S. Marone, Jr.  The SEC alleges that, between January
1999 and January 2004, Mr. Marone fraudulently obtained over
$3.2 million from dozens of investors by inducing them to invest
in several fictitious "equity funds" that Mr. Marone purported
to manage.

According to the Commission's complaint, Mr. Marone falsely
promised investors extraordinary returns at virtually no risk
and sent investors falsified account statements reporting the
current value of their investments.  In reality, the complaint
alleges that Mr. Marone never invested his victims' investment
proceeds.  Instead, he and his wife, Relief Defendant, Marita D.
Marone, used investors' funds to support their lavish lifestyle,
including the purchase of cars, boats, snowmobiles, and trips to
Europe.  

In a February 9, written statement to law enforcement
authorities, Mr. Marone admitted defrauding investors out of at
least $1.9 million.  The complaint alleges that the actual total
amount Mr. Marone misappropriated was at least $3.2 million.

Upon the SEC's request, filed simultaneously with the SEC's
complaint, U.S. District Judge Naomi R. Buchwald of the Southern
District of New York issued a temporary restraining order which,
among other interim relief, froze the assets of Mr. Marone, his
purported "equity funds," and his wife.  The Court scheduled a
hearing for February 27, 2004, on the SEC's application for a
preliminary injunction.
          
The SEC charges Mr. Marone and Patrollers Capital Fund and its
related funds, Patrollers Capital I, II and III, The Wedel Fund
and The Whistler Fund with violating Section 17(a) of the
Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.  In addition to
interim relief granted, the SEC is seeking a judgment of
permanent injunction, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, and
civil monetary penalties.  

The suit is styled "SEC v. Patrollers Capital Fund and Franklin
S. Marone, Jr. and Relief Defendant Marita D. Marone, Civil
Action No. 04 Civ. 11227."


PSS WORLD: FL Court Hears Certification Motion For Stock Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Middle District of
Florida, Jacksonville Division heard motions for class
certification for the securities suit filed against PSS World
Medical, Inc. and certain of its current and former officers and
directors, styled "Jack Hirsch v. PSS World Medical, Inc., et
al., Civil Action No. 3:98-CV 502-J-32TEM."

The plaintiff seeks indeterminate damages, including costs and
expenses.  The plaintiff initially alleged, for himself and for
a purported class of similarly situated stockholders who
purchased the Company's stock between December 23, 1997 and May
8, 1998 that the defendants engaged in violations of certain
provisions of the Securities Exchange Act, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder.  The allegations were based upon a
decline in the Company's stock price following an announcement
by the Company in May 1998 regarding the Gulf South Medical
Supply, Inc. merger, which resulted in earnings below analysts'
expectations.

In December 2002, the Court granted the Company's motion to
dismiss the plaintiff's second amended complaint with prejudice
with respect to the Section 10(b) claims.  The plaintiffs filed
their third amended complaint in January 2003 alleging claims
under Sections 14(a) and 20(a) of the Exchange Act on behalf of
a putative class of all persons who were shareholders of the
Company as of March 26, 1998.

In May 2003, the Court denied the defendants' motion to dismiss.
The Court held a hearing on the plaintiff's motion for class
certification on January 27, 2004, which is presently pending.  
Mediation is scheduled to occur during the week of June 15,
2004.  The case is set for trial in April 2005.


PSS WORLD: Reaches Settlement For Securities Lawsuit in M.D. FL
---------------------------------------------------------------
PSS World Medical, Inc. reached a settlement for the securities
class action filed in the United States District Court for the
Middle District of Florida, styled In Re PSS World Medical Inc.
Securities Litigation."  The suit also names as defendants
certain of the Company's present and former directors and
officers.

The suit on behalf of persons who purchased or acquired PSS
World Medical, Inc. common stock at various times during the
period between October 26, 1999 and October 3, 2000 and alleged,
among other things, violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder.  The plaintiffs alleged that the Company issued
false and misleading statements and failed to disclose material
facts concerning, among other things, the Company's financial
condition and that because of the issuance of false and
misleading statements and/or failure to disclose material facts,
the price of PSS World Medical, Inc. common stock was
artificially inflated during the class period.

The Court granted the plaintiff's motion for class certification
in November 2002.  The parties have signed a settlement
agreement pursuant to which the Company has agreed to pay $6.75
million for the benefit of the class members, of which
approximately $6.5 million was covered by the Company's
insurance policy.  The settlement agreement is subject to court
approval and the $6.75 million settlement payment has been
deposited in escrow.


PSS WORLD: Parties in FL Overtime Suit Start Extensive Discovery
----------------------------------------------------------------
Parties in the lawsuit filed against PSS World Medical, Inc.
have engaged in extensive discovery for the suit, brought by
three former and present employees of the Company, entitled
Angione, et al. v. PSS World Medical, Inc.

The suit, filed in the United States Court for the Middle
District of Florida, Jacksonville Division, alleges that the
Company wrongfully classified its purchasers, operations leader
trainees, and accounts receivable representatives as exempt
from the overtime requirements imposed by the Fair Labor
Standards Act and the California Wage Orders, and they seek to
recover back pay, interest, costs of suit, declaratory and
injunctive relief, and applicable statutory penalties.

On February 21, 2003, the court conditionally allowed the case
to proceed as a collective action under the Fair Labor Standards
Act.  Two of the three original named plaintiffs also brought,
but subsequently have settled, individual claims for gender
discrimination and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Pay Act of 1963.

The parties will likely mediate the case.  If the claims are not
settled, the claims will proceed through discovery and
ultimately proceed to trial.  The Company is vigorously
defending against the claims; however, there can be no assurance
that this litigation will be ultimately resolved on terms that
are favorable to the Company.


RESEARCH INVESTMENT: Admin. Judge Imposes Sanctions For Fraud
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Chief Administrative Law Judge issued an Order Making
Findings and Imposing Sanctions by Default, on Respondents
Research Investment Group, Inc. and Scott H. Wilding in the
matter of Research Investment Group, Inc., et al.  

The Order Instituting Proceedings alleged that Respondents
engaged in an illegal distribution of unregistered securities in
violation of Sections 5(a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act of
1933.  The Default Order finds these allegations to be true,
orders Respondents to disgorge $121,715, plus prejudgment
interest, and to cease and desist from violating Sections 5(a)
and 5(c) of the Securities Act of 1933.  
     

RURAL/METRO CORPORATION: AZ Court Junks Claims in ERISA Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the District of Arizona
dismissed plaintiffs' claims in the class action filed against
Rural/Metro Corporation, styled "Springborn, et al. v.
Rural/Metro Corporation, et al., Civil Action No. CV 2002-
019020."  The suit also names as defendants:

     (1) Arthur Andersen LLP,

     (2) Cor Clement and Jane Doe Clement,

     (3) Randall L. Harmsen and Jane Doe Harmsen,

     (5) Warren S. Rustand and Jane Doe Rustand,

     (6) James H. Bolin and Jane Doe Bolin,

     (7) Jack E. Brucker and Jane Doe Brucker,

     (8) Robert B. Hillier and Jane Doe Hillier,

     (9) John S. Banas III and Jane Doe Banas,

    (10) Louis G. Jekel and Karen Whitmer,

    (11) Mary Anne Carpenter and John Doe Carpenter,

    (12) William C. Turner and Jane Doe Turner,

    (13) Henry G. Walker and Jane Doe Walker,

    (14) Louis A. Witzeman and Jane Doe Witzeman,

    (15) John Furman and Jane Doe Furman, and

    (16) Mark Liebner and Jane Doe Liebner

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of employee firefighters in
Maricopa County who participated in the Company's Employee Stock
Ownership Plan (ESOP), Employee Stock Purchase Plan (ESPP),
and/or Retirement Savings Value Plan (401(k) Plan) from July 1,
1996 through June 30, 2001.  The plaintiffs amended the
Complaint on October 17, 2002, adding Barry Landon and Jane Doe
Landon as defendants and making certain additional allegations
and claims.  The primary allegations of the complaint included
violations of various state and federal securities laws, breach
of contract, common law fraud, and mismanagement of the Plans.

On February 21, 2003, the Company and its current directors and
officers moved to dismiss the amended complaint, and its former
directors and officers subsequently joined in this motion.  On
July 29, 2003, the court granted the motion to dismiss, which
disposed of all claims against the Company and its current and
former officers and directors.  On August 28, 2003, plaintiffs
filed a notice of appeal from the court's July 29, 2003 order to
the Ninth Circuit.  The appeal was dismissed as premature on
October 27, 2003.  The court dismissed plaintiffs' remaining
claims against Arthur Andersen on January 27, 2004, and entered
final judgment.


SECURITY ASSET: SEC Launches Civil Action For Securities Fraud
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil action in
the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania, against Security Asset Capital Corporation, Apacor
Financial, Inc. and other individuals and entities involved in
the offering of nine-month promissory notes.  

The complaint seeks permanent injunctions, civil money
penalties, disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, and bars preventing
certain of the defendants from acting as an officer or director
of a public company.  The Commission alleges that defendants
made material misrepresentations and omissions in the offering
of the promissory notes, whereby investors were promised secure
investments with 12% (or more) annual returns, but instead lost
all or the vast majority of their money.  

The Commission further alleges that, in these offerings of nine-
month promissory notes, Security Asset raised approximately $7
million from December 1998 through January 2001, and Apacor
raised approximately $1.5 million from August 2000 through March
2001.  The Commission also alleges that no registration
statement was in effect as to these promissory notes; nor were
they exempt from registration.

Named as defendants in the Commission's complaint are:
     
     (1) Security Asset Capital Corporation, headquartered in
         San Diego, California.  Security Asset was in the
         business of, among other things, buying discounted debt
         portfolios, which the company would either collect or
         resell at a profit;
          
     (2) Darrell G. Musick, age 66, of Oceanside, California.
         Mr. Musick was the President and a director of Security
         Asset since 1993, and a member of Security Asset's
         audit committee;
     
     (3) David S. Walton, age 73, of the San Diego area.  Mr.
         Walton was the Secretary, Treasurer, internal auditor
         and a director of Security Asset since 1996;
     
     (4) Richard E. Wensel, age 69, of Scottsdale, Arizona.  Mr.
         Wensel was a director of Security Asset, and served as
         an executive vice president of one of Security Asset's
         subsidiaries.
     
     (5) Continental Capital Group, Ltd. headquartered in Edina,
         Minnesota.  Defendant Arthur B. Carlson, III,
         established Continental Capital for the stated purpose
         of helping parties secure financing through bank loans,
         private placements, and public registrations.
          
     (6) Arthur B. Carlson, III, age 52, of St. Paul, Minnesota.  
         Mr. Carlson was the Chief Executive Officer and
         majority shareholder of Continental Capital.  Mr.
         Carlson also served as the Chief Financial Officer of
         defendant, Apacor Financial, Inc.  In addition, he was
         a licensed certified public accountant in Minnesota
         from 1977 through 2000.
          
     (7) Secure Investments, Inc., headquartered in Mountville,
         Pennsylvania.  Defendant, Gary J. Spirk specifically
         formed Secure Investments to market promissory notes.
          
     (8) Gary J. Spirk, age 50, of Washington Boro,
         Pennsylvania.  He was the sole principal of Secure
         Investments.
     
     (9) Apacor Financial, Inc. (Apacor) headquartered in Edina,
         Minnesota.  Apacor is a finance company whose primary
         business is the refinancing of delinquent credit card
         debt.  Apacor is one of a group of finance-related
         companies owned, in part or in whole, by defendant
         Richard C. Wallace.
          
    (10) Richard C. Wallace, age 48, is currently serving a
         three-year prison sentence at the Federal Correctional
         Institute in Elkton, Ohio, stemming from his guilty
         plea in December 2002 to charges of mail fraud and bank
         fraud relating to the sale of Apacor's promissory
         notes.  Mr. Wallace was the majority shareholder of
         Apacor.
          
The complaint charges all defendants with violations of Section
17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 (Securities Act) and Section
10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5
thereunder.  The complaint also charges defendants Security
Asset, Mr. Musick, Mr. Wensel, Continental Capital, Mr. Carlson,
Secure Investments, Mr. Spirk, Apacor and Mr. Wallace with
violations of Sections 5 (a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act  
(securities registration provisions), and defendants Wensel,
Continental Capital, Carlson, Secure Investments, and Spirk with
violations of Section 15(a)(1) of the Exchange Act (broker-
dealer registration provisions).

The suit is styled "SEC v. Security Asset Capital Corporation,
et al., Civil Action No. 04-683 (LD) EDPA."


SINGING MACHINE: Plaintiffs To File Securities Suit in FL Court
---------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in the eight securities class actions filed against
The Singing Machine Co., Inc. and certain of its officers and
directors filed a consolidated suit in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of Florida, styled
"styled Bielansky, et al. v. Salberg & Co., et al., Case No. 03-
80596-ZLOCH."

The suit alleges violations of Section 10(b) and Section 20(a)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10(b)-5
promulgated thereunder.  These complaints seek compensatory
damages, attorney's fees and injunctive relief.

As the outcome of litigation is difficult to predict,
significant changes in the estimated exposures could occur which
could have a material affect on the Company's operations, the
Company stated in a disclosure to the Securities and Exchange
Commission.


SPORT-HALEY INC.: Plaintiffs Seek Preliminary Approval for Pact
---------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs in the securities class action filed against Sport-
Haley, Inc. asked the United States District Court in Colorado
to grant preliminary approval to the settlement they and the
Company proposed.

The suit, filed against the Company and three of its officers
and directors, alleges that the defendants violated Section
10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, by knowingly overstating Sport-Haley's
financial results, thereby causing Sport-Haley's stock price to
be artificially inflated.

The complaint further alleges that the individual defendants are
liable by virtue of being controlling persons of Sport-Haley,
pursuant to Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act.  The allegations
arise out of Sport-Haley's restatements of its financial
statements for the fiscal years ended June 30, 1999 and 1998,
which Sport-Haley previously reported, an earlier Class Action
Reporter story (October 4,2003) reports.

Pursuant to a settlement conference, on November 7, 2003, and a
Memorandum of Understanding dated December 16, 2003, the parties
to the class action reached a preliminary agreement to settle
the action against all parties, subject to court approval and
other contingencies.  On January 23, 2004, the parties entered
into, and filed with the court, a Stipulation of Settlement
which more particularly describes the parties' agreement.  Also
on January 23, 2004, the Plaintiffs filed a motion with the
court for preliminary approval of the proposed settlement.

If the court grants preliminary approval of the proposed
settlement, notice of the class action and the proposed
settlement will be sent to the class and the court will schedule
and conduct a hearing to consider the settlement and any
objections, if any.  Under the contemplated settlement, the
Defendants will pay to the class a total of $1,000,000, from
which will be deducted certain administrative costs and awards
made to the named Plaintiffs and to Plaintiffs' counsel for
attorneys' fees and costs.

The settlement amount is expected to come from proceeds of the
Defendants' liability insurance coverage.


SUHEIL JUDEH: SEC Launches Suit For Securities Fraud V. Trader
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed an action in
federal court charging a Seattle day-trader, Suheil M. Judeh,
with fraud in violation of the federal securities laws.
     
The Commission's complaint charges Mr. Judeh with violating
Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 10(b) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.   
The Commission seeks an order enjoining Mr. Judeh from future
violations of these provisions, requiring him to disgorge his
ill-gotten gains, and requiring him to pay civil money
penalties.
     
The complaint alleges that Mr. Judeh opened a series of
brokerage accounts using stolen and false identities and forged
checks.  Mr. Judeh used these accounts to buy and sell
securities with himself, through another brokerage account he
held in his own name.  Mr. Judeh structured the trades so that
the account in his name consistently made money, while the
accounts under false or stolen identities (nominee accounts)
incurred losses.  Because Mr. Judeh had opened the nominee
accounts using forged checks, the losses were incurred by the
brokerages, and not by the individuals whose identities were
stolen.  

Mr. Judeh's offers to buy and sell securities through the
nominee accounts were fraudulent because he never intended to
pay for the trading losses he accumulated in the nominee
accounts.  Moreover, because his trades were publicly reported,
they gave the false appearance of legitimate market activity to
other traders in those securities.  Mr. Judeh's illegal trading
scheme, which ran from at least May through June 2002 and March
through July 2003, netted profits of approximately $95,000.   

The suit is styled "SEC v. Suheil M. Judeh, Civil Action No. C
04 0322 L."


TRANSACTION SYSTEMS: Parties in Securities Suit Enter Mediation
---------------------------------------------------------------
Parties in the consolidated securities class action filed
against Transaction Systems Architects, Inc. agreed to enter
mediation starting March 18,2004.

The suit, filed in the US District Court for the District of
Nebraska against the Company and certain individual named
defendants, alleges violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder,
on the grounds that certain of the Company's Exchange Act
reports and press releases contained untrue statements of
material facts, or omitted to state facts necessary to make the
statements therein not misleading, with regard to the Company's
revenues and expenses during the purported class period.

The Consolidated Complaint alleges that during the purported
class period, the Company and the named defendants
misrepresented the Company's historical financial condition,
results of operations and its future prospects, and failed to
disclose facts that could have indicated an impending decline in
the Company's revenues.  The lead plaintiff is seeking
unspecified damages, interest, fees, costs and rescission.  The
class period stated in the Consolidated Complaint is January 21,
1999 through November 18, 2002.

The Company and the individual defendants filed a motion to
dismiss the Consolidated Complaint, which the lead plaintiff
opposed.  On November 20, 2003, the Court heard oral arguments
on the defendants' motion to dismiss.  On December 15, 2003,
the Court issued its order granting in part, and denying in
part, the motion to dismiss.  In particular, the Court
dismissed, without prejudice, Gregory Derkacht as a defendant.
The Court denied the motion to dismiss with respect to the
remaining defendants, including the Company.  The Company and
the other defendants filed an answer to the Consolidated
Complaint on January 21, 2004.  On February 6, 2004, the Court
entered a Mediation Reference Order requiring the parties to
mediate before a private mediator.


TRANSACTION SYSTEMS: Two NE Shareholder Derivative Suits Stayed
---------------------------------------------------------------
Two shareholder derivative lawsuits have been stayed pending the
settlement of a federal securities class action filed against
Transaction Systems Architects, Inc.

On January 10, 2003, Samuel Naito filed the suit, styled "Samuel
Naito, Derivatively on behalf of nominal defendant Transaction
Systems Architects, Inc. v. Roger K. Alexander, Gregory D.
Derkacht, Gregory J. Duman, Larry G. Fendley, Jim D. Kever, and
Charles E. Noell, III and Transaction Systems Architects, Inc.,"
in the State District Court in Douglas County, Nebraska.  

The suit is a shareholder derivative action that generally
alleges that the named individuals breached their fiduciary
duties of loyalty and good faith owed to the Company and its
shareholders by causing the Company to conduct its business in
an unsafe, imprudent and unlawful manner, resulting in damage to
the Company.  

More specifically, the plaintiff alleges that the individual
defendants, and particularly the members of the Company's audit
committee, failed to implement and maintain an adequate internal
accounting control system that would have enabled the Company to
discover irregularities in its accounting procedures with regard
to certain transactions prior to August 2002, thus violating
their fiduciary duties of loyalty and good faith, generally
accepted accounting principles and the Company's audit
committee charter.  The plaintiff seeks to recover an
unspecified amount of money damages allegedly sustained by the
Company as a result of the individual defendants' alleged
breaches of fiduciary duties, as well as the plaintiff's costs
and disbursements related to the suit.

On January 24, 2003, Michael Russiello filed the suit, styled
"Michael Russiello, Derivatively on behalf of nominal defendant
Transaction Systems Architects, Inc. v. Roger K. Alexander,
Gregory D. Derkacht, Gregory J. Duman, Larry G. Fendley, Jim D.
Kever, and Charles E. Noell, III and Transaction Systems
Architects, Inc." in the State District Court in Douglas County,
Nebraska.

The suit is a shareholder derivative action involving
allegations similar to those in the Naito matter.  The plaintiff
seeks to recover an unspecified amount of money damages
allegedly sustained by the Company as a result of the individual
defendants' alleged breaches of fiduciary duties, as well as the
plaintiff's costs and disbursements related to the suit.

The Company filed a motion to dismiss in the Naito matter on
February 14, 2003, and a motion to dismiss in the Russiello
matter on February 21, 2003.  A hearing was scheduled on those
motions for March 14, 2003.  Plaintiffs' counsel requested that
the derivative lawsuits be stayed pending a determination of an
anticipated motion to dismiss to be filed in the class action
lawsuits when and if service of process is achieved.  The
Company, by and through its counsel, agreed to that stay.

As a result, no other defendants have been served and no
discovery has been commenced.  The Company has not determined
what effect the Court's ruling in the class action litigation
will have on the Naito or Russiello matters.


TYCO INTERNATIONAL: Ex-CFO Swartz Testifies on Company Loans
------------------------------------------------------------
Manhattan prosecutors questioned former Tyco International Ltd.
finance chief Mark Swartz about the millions of dollars he
received as loans from the Company, Reuters reports.  Mr. Swarts
and former Tyco chief executive L. Dennis Kozlowski are on trial
for charges of corporate larceny.

Mr. Swartz admitted to receiving the loans but said that he was
uncertain whether he signed promissory notes as the program
required.  Prosecutors accuse Mr. Swartz and Mr. Kozlowski of
using the employee loan program as a revolving charge account to
fund their lavish lifestyles.  Several former Tyco directors
have said the program was designed to help executives pay
federal taxes on vested restricted stock.

After five days of intense questioning from prosecutors, Mr.
Swartz appeared lost for a definitive answer when asked if he
signed notes for loans given between 1999 and 2001.  "If you had
asked me that question before the trial began I would have said,
'Yes,"' Mr. Swartz replied. "Now I'm not certain."

Mr. Swartz likely will be the only defense witness at the
corruption trial and has denied that he and Mr. Kozlowski looted
Tyco of $600 million, Reuters reports.  He asserted Tyco's
compensation committee of directors in 1997 approved changes
that allowed executives to borrow larger amounts and for
purposes other than paying taxes.  He also said, under
questioning by Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Marc
Scholl, that he didn't see any form of documentation on the
change in the program.  

Mr. Swartz's testimony is pitted directly against testimonies of
Tyco directors who gave him one of the highest compensation
packages for CFOs in the country.  Mr. Swartz testified that he
had inserted the word "primarily" into Tyco's 1998 proxy
statement in a description of the loan program to show investors
that the scheme was no longer exclusively to help executives pay
taxes.

Mr. Scholl asked Mr. Swartz what purpose did the word
"primarily" serve, Reuters reports. "It was to disclose that the
amount that could be borrowed could exceed the amount borrowed
for federal taxes," he said.

Earlier, defense lawyers asked New York Supreme Court Judge
Michael Obus to strike testimony saying that Mr. Swartz was
responsible for cutting tens of thousands of jobs while
collecting millions of dollars in improper bonuses.  Charles
Stillman, Mr. Swartz's lead defense lawyer, told the court he
was upset by media reports that detailed Wednesday's job cuts
testimony during cross-examination by prosecutors.  He asserted
that prosecutor Scholl asked loaded questions.  Judge Obus
rejected the motion.


VALEANT PHARMACEUTICALS: Reaches Settlement For DE Stock Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Inc. reached a settlement for the
consolidated securities class action filed against it in the
Delaware Court of Chancery, styled "In re Ribapharm Inc.
Shareholders Litigation, Consol. C.A. No. 20337.

The suit also initially named Ribapharm, Inc. and certain of its
directors as defendants, but plaintiffs later dropped them in an
amended suit.  The amended suit alleges, among other things,
that the Company breached its fiduciary duties as a controlling
stockholder of Ribapharm in connection with its tender offer for
the shares of Ribapharm it did not already own.

On August 4, 2003, the Company and the plaintiffs reached an
agreement in principle to settle these lawsuits and, after
settlement papers are prepared, will present that settlement to
the Court of Chancery for its approval.

Another suit has not yet been formally consolidated into C.A.
No. 20337 but is proceeding in coordination with the
consolidated case.

On June 27, 2003, a purported class action on behalf of certain
stockholders of Ribapharm was filed against the Company in the
Delaware Court of Chancery.  This class action is captioned
"Maxine Phillips, Robert Garfield, Nora Mazzini, Andrew Samet,
Kathleen A. Pasek, Richard Jacob and Steven Silverberg v. ICN
Pharmaceuticals, Inc., C.A. No. 20391."  The suit seeks a
declaration that the shareholders rights plan is valid and
enforceable.  This action has been consolidated with the suit
instituted by the Company on June 25, 2003 and captioned "In re
Ribapharm, Inc. Rights Plan Litigation, Consol. C.A. No. 20387."

On August 4, 2003, the Company and the plaintiffs reached an
agreement in principle to settle this lawsuit.  The settlement
will be completed in combination with the settlement "In re
Ribapharm Inc. Shareholders Litigation, Consol. C.A. No. 20337."

On June 3, 2003, a purported class action, captioned "Len Brody
v. Roberts A. Smith, Andre C. Dimitriadis, Santo J. Costa, James
J. Pieczynski, Daniel J. Paracka, Gregory F. Boron, Ribapharm,
Inc. and ICN Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Case No. 03 CC 00211," was
filed in the Superior Court of Orange County, California,
against the Company, Ribapharm and certain of Ribapharm's
officers and directors.

The complaint in this action purports to assert the same claims,
on behalf of the same class of plaintiffs and against the same
defendants as in the seven lawsuits filed in Delaware that are
described above.  This California action has been stayed and a
status conference was held November 18, 2003 in light of the
settlement of the Delaware tender offer litigation.  The
settlement of the Delaware tender offer litigation will be
designed to release the claims brought in this lawsuit, although
the decision as to effect of that release will be up to the
California court.


VERMONT: 8,000 Consumers To Receive Share in CD Antitrust Pact
--------------------------------------------------------------
Vermont Attorney General William H. Sorrell announced that 8,000
Vermont consumers will soon receive checks in the mail, as part
of the settlement of a national antitrust price-fixing case
against several music distributors and retailers. Attorney

Over 8,000 Vermont consumers who filed a claim in the 43-state
and three territories class action should be receiving their
restitution checks for $13.86 within days.  Payout is being made
to music purchasers who filed a valid and timely claim last
year either online at the settlement website:
http://www.MusicCdSettlement.comor by mail.

The payout brings to a close a lawsuit filed nearly two years
ago in which state Attorneys General accused distributors and
music labels of engaging in a scheme to prevent some non-
traditional music retailers, such as Best Buy, Circuit City and
Target, from offering compact discs at deep discounts.  The
alleged illegal activity happened between January 1, 1995, and
December 22, 2000.

The lawsuit specifically targeted "minimum advertising price,"
or MAP policies, in which distributors penalized retailers who
offered discount-priced CDs.  To enforce these policies,
distributors withheld advertising reimbursements each time
retailers sold CDs at reduced rates.  As a result, the retailers
were discouraged from offering discounts.

"Consumers will see some real benefit from this settlement,"
said Attorney General Sorrell.  "It is illegal for distributors
to use these strong arm tactics to prevent discounting of
products.  I'm glad we were able to put a stop to this."

Under the settlement, announced in May, Vermont schools and
libraries also will receive at least $150,000 dollars worth of
CDs.  Their distribution is expected over the next few months.

Named in the lawsuit were:

     (1) BMG Music,

     (2) Bertelsmann Music Group Inc.,

     (3) Capitol Records, Inc., which does business as EMI Music
         Distribution,

     (4) Virgin Records America Inc.,

     (5) Priority Records, LLC,

     (6) Sony Music Entertainment Inc.,

     (7) Universal Music & Video Distribution Corporation,

     (8) Universal Music Group,

     (9) UMG Recordings Inc.,

    (10) Warner-Elektra-Atlantic Corporation,

    (11) Warner Music Group Inc.,

    (12) Warner Bros. Records Inc.,

    (13) Atlantic Recording Corporation,

    (14) Elektra Entertainment Group Inc., and

    (15) Rhino Entertainment Co.

Retail outlets named in the lawsuit were MTS Inc., which does
business as Tower Records; Musicland, which operates more than
1, 300 retail outlets under the Musicland and Sam Goody trade
names; and Trans World, which operates more than 900 stores
under the names Camelot, FYE, Music & Movies, Plant Music,
Record Town, Saturday Matinee, Spec's Music, Strawberries and
the Wall.

                  New Securities Fraud Cases


AGCO CORPORATION: Brian Felgoise Launches Securities Suit in IL
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Brian M. Felgoise, P.C. initiated a
securities class action in the United States District Court for
the North District of Illinois, on behalf of shareholders who
acquired AGCO Corp. securities between February 6, 2003 and
February 5, 2004, inclusive, against the company and certain key
officers and directors.

The action charges that defendants violated the federal
securities laws by issuing a series of materially false and
misleading statements to the market throughout the Class Period
which statements had the effect of artificially inflating the
market price of the Company's securities.

For more information, contact Brian M. Felgoise, by Mail: 261
Old York Road, Suite 423, Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, 19046, by
Phone: (215) 886-1900, or by E-mail:
securitiesfraud@comcast.net.


AGCO CORPORATION: Charles Piven Files Securities Suit in N.D. IL
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated a securities
class action in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Illinois, on behalf of shareholders who
purchased, converted, exchanged or otherwise acquired the common
stock of AGCO Corp. between February 6, 2003 and February 5,
2004, inclusive, against defendant AGCO, and:

     (1) Robert J. Ratliff, and

     (2) Andrew H. Beck

The action charges that defendants violated federal securities
laws by issuing a series of materially false and misleading
statements to the market throughout the Class Period which
statements had the effect of artificially inflating the market
price of the Company's securities.

For more information, contact Charles J. Piven, P.A., by Mail:
The World Trade Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt Street, Suite
2525, Baltimore, Maryland 21202, by Phone: 410/986-0036, or by
E-mail: hoffman@pivenlaw.com.


AGCO CORPORATION: Lasky & Rifkind Lodges Securities Suit in IL
--------------------------------------------------------------
Lasky & Rifkind, Ltd. initiated a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of
Illinois, on behalf of persons who purchased or otherwise
acquired publicly traded securities of AGCO Corporation
(NYSE:AG) between February 6, 2003 and February 5, 2004,
inclusive.  The lawsuit was filed against AGCO and Robert J.
Ratliff and Andrew H. Beck.

The complaint alleges that Defendants violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10-b5
promulgated thereunder.  During the Class Period, the Defendants
issued a series of material misrepresentations to the market
concerning the Company's financial results.

Specifically, the complaint alleges that the Defendants'
statements were materially false and misleading because they
failed to disclose and or misrepresented that the Company had
improperly recorded revenue on its "bill and hold" transactions
where risk was not transferred to the customer, and that the
Company recklessly disregarded its own revenue recognition
policy.

On February 5, 2004, the Company issued a press release
announcing its fourth quarter and year-end results for fiscal
2003 and the period ended December 31, 2003. The Company also
disclosed that AGCO received an informal inquiry from the SEC
asking AGCO for its policies and related information pertaining
to the company's revenue recognition policies, sales and sales
returns and allowances, plant and facility closing costs and
reserves, and personal use of corporate aircraft.

Shares of AGCO reacted negatively to these announcements,
falling approximately 16%, or $3.10 per share, to close at
$16.25 per share on robust trading volume.

For more details, contact Leigh Lasky by Phone: 800-495-1868


AMERICAN BUSINESS: Marc Henzel Lodges Securities Suit in E.D. PA
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania on behalf of purchasers of the
securities of American Business Financial Services, Inc.
(NasdaqNM:ABFI) between January 27, 2000 and June 25, 2003,
inclusive.

The Complaint alleges that the Company, Anthony J. Santilli,
Richard Kaufman, and Albert W. Mandia violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder.  More specifically, the Complaint
alleges that, during the Class Period, defendants failed to
disclose and indicate:

     (1) the Company used a deception to take homes from
         delinquent borrowers in order keep its delinquency rate
         low;

     (2) that the deception allowed the Company to skip the
         normal foreclosure process more frequently;

     (3) that the deception helped the Company to reduce its
         delinquency rate in its $3.6 billion loan portfolio;

     (4) as result of reducing its delinquency rate in its $3.6
         billion loan portfolio, the Company was able to
         securitize more loans; and

     (5) were thus able to collect interest income from its
         securitized loans and inflate its financial results.

On June 13, 2003, the Company disclosed that it had received a
civil subpoena from the U.S. Department of Justice requesting
that ABFI provide documents relating to mortgage loan
transactions and securitization agreements. On news of this,
shares of ABFI fell 20% to close at $8.27 per share.

On June 26, 2003, ABFI disclosed that it anticipated incurring a
loss for the quarter and year ended June 30, 2003 due to its
inability to complete its quarterly securitization of loans. On
news of this, shares of ABFI fell 12% to close at $7.40 per
share.

For more details, contact Marc S. Henzel by Mail: 273 Montgomery
Ave, Suite 202 Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004-2808, by Phone:
(888) 643-6735 or (610) 660-8000, by Fax: (610) 660-8080, by E-
mail: Mhenzel182@aol.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://members.aol.com/mhenzel182.


DATATEC SYSTEMS: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Lawsuit in NJ
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated a securities
class action on behalf of shareholders who purchased, converted,
exchanged or otherwise acquired the common stock of Datatec
Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: DATCE) between June 26, 2003 and December
16, 2003, inclusive.

The case is pending in the United States District Court for the
District of New Jersey.  The action charges that defendants
violated federal securities laws by issuing a series of
materially false and misleading statements to the market
throughout the Class Period which statements had the effect of
artificially inflating the market price of the Company's
securities.

For more details, contact Charles J. Piven by Mail: The World
Trade Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt Street, Suite 2525,
Baltimore, Maryland 21202 by Phone: 410/986-0036 or by E-mail:
hoffman@pivenlaw.com


DATATEC SYSTEMS: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges NJ Securities Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a securities class action in
the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
on behalf of all purchasers of the securities of Datatec
Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: DATCE) between June 26, 2003 and December
16, 2003, inclusive.

The complaint charges Datatec, Isaac J. Gaon and Mark J.
Hirschhorn with violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder.  More specifically, the complaint alleges that,
throughout the Class Period, defendants issued numerous
statements to the market concerning the Company's financial
results, which failed to disclose and/or misrepresented the
following adverse facts, among others:

     (1) that Datatec, in violation of Generally Accepted
         Accounting Principles (GAAP), was improperly valuing
         certain of its long-term contracts, thereby overstating
         its revenues and assets;

     (2) that Datatec had no viable plan for the
         commercialization of the Asset Guardian software;

     (3) that Datatec had deficient and inadequate internal
         controls and financial systems; and

     (4) that based on the foregoing, Datatec lacked a
         reasonable basis for its financial and operational
         guidance for fiscal 2004.

On December 5, 2003, Datatec announced that defendant Gaon had
"stepped down as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer." In
addition, the Company reported that Mark Berenblut had resigned
as a Board member.  Following release of this news, Datatec
stock fell more than 33% on extremely heavy trading.

On December 16, 2003, before the opening of trading on December
17, 2003, Datatec further shocked the investing public when it
announced that it expected a loss of $10 million for the first
quarter ended October 23, 2003. On news of this, Datatec stock
fell an additional 14% on extremely heavy volume.

For more details, contact Marc A. Topaz or Stuart L. Berman by
Mail: Three Bala Plaza East, Suite 400, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 by
Phone: 1-888-299-7706 (toll free) or 1-610-667-7706 or by E-
mail: info@sbclasslaw.com


DATATEC SYSTEMS: Cauley Geller Launches Securities Lawsuit in NJ
----------------------------------------------------------------
Cauley Geller Bowman & Rudman, LLP initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the District of
New Jersey on behalf of purchasers of Datatec Systems, Inc.
(Nasdaq: DATCE) publicly traded securities during the period
between June 26, 2003 and December 16, 2003, inclusive.

The complaint charges Datatec, Isaac J. Gaon and Mark J.
Hirschhorn with violations of Section 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder.  

More specifically, the complaint alleges that, throughout the
Class Period, defendants issued numerous statements to the
market concerning the Company's financial results, which failed
to disclose and/or misrepresented the following material adverse
facts which were known to defendants or recklessly disregarded
by them:

     (1) that Datatec, in violation of Generally Accepted
         Accounting Principles ("GAAP"), was improperly valuing
         certain of its long- term contracts, thereby
         overstating its revenues and assets;

     (2) that, contrary to its Class Period representations,
         Datatec had no viable plan for the commercialization of
         the Asset Guardian software;

     (3) that Datatec had deficient and inadequate internal
         controls and financial systems; and

     (4) that based on the foregoing, Datatec lacked a
         reasonable basis for its financial and operational
         guidance for fiscal 2004.

On December 5, 2003, Datatec surprised investors with the news
that CEO Gaon had been thrown out and replaced by a new CEO,
Raul Pupo. On December 17, 2003, Datatec told investors it would
suffer a $10 million loss for the fiscal quarter ended October
31, 2003, and that Datatec's Audit Committee had hired outside
counsel to review Datatec's valuation of its long- term
contracts. IBM Credit has since refused to waive Datatec's non-
compliance with financial covenants. Datatec's stock price fell
substantially on large volume.

For more details, contact Samuel H. Rudman, David A. Rosenfeld,
Jackie Addison, Heather Gann or Chandra West by Mail: P.O. Box
25438, Little Rock, AR 72221-5438 by Phone: 1-888-551-9944 by
Fax: 1-501-312-8505 or by E-mail: info@cauleygeller.com


DATATEC SYSTEMS: Shalov Stone Commences Securities Lawsuit in NJ
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Shalov Stone & Bonner LLP initiated a securities
fraud class action lawsuit in federal court for the District of
New Jersey, on behalf of purchasers of the securities of Datatec
Systems, Inc. between June 26, 2003 and December 16, 2003,
inclusive.  

The complaint alleges violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act. CEO Isaac Gaon told investors that
Datatec was on track to earn $0.14 to $0.16 per share for fiscal
2004. Datatec, however, hid its true financial condition so that
it could obtain continued financing from IBM Credit, an
important company lender.

On December 5, 2003, Datatec surprised investors with the news
that CEO Gaon had been thrown out and replaced by a new CEO,
Raul Pupo. On December 17, 2003, Datatec told investors it would
suffer a $10 million loss for the fiscal quarter ended October
31, 2003, and that Datatec's Audit Committee had hired outside
counsel to review Datatec's valuation of its long-term
contracts. IBM Credit has since refused to waive Datatec's non-
compliance with financial covenants. Datatec's stock price fell
substantially on large volume.

For more information, contact Lauren Fishman, Legal Assistant,
by Mail: 485 Seventh Ave., Suite 1000, New York, NY 10018, by
Phone: (212) 239-4340, or by E-mail: lfishman@lawssb.com


DATATEC SYSTEMS: Brian Felgoise Launches Securities Suit in NJ
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Brian M. Felgoise, P.C. initiated a
securities class action in Federal Court for the District of New
Jersey, on behalf of shareholders who acquired Datatec Systems,
Inc. securities between June 26, 2003 and December 16, 2003,
inclusive, against the company and certain key officers and
directors.

The action charges that defendants violated the federal
securities laws by issuing a series of materially false and
misleading statements to the market throughout the Class Period
which statements had the effect of artificially inflating the
market price of the Company's securities.

For more information, contact Brian M. Felgoise, by Mail: 261
Old York Road, Suite 423, Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, 19046, by
Phone: (215) 886-1900, or by E-mail:
securitiesfraud@comcast.net.


EL PASO: Abbey Gardy Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in S.D. TX
---------------------------------------------------------------
Abbey Gardy, LLP commenced a securities class action in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
(Civil Action No. 04-632) on behalf of all persons who purchased
or acquired securities of El Paso Corporation (NYSE: EP) between
February 22, 2000 and February 17, 2004 inclusive.

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, by issuing a series of material
misrepresentations to the market during the Class Period thereby
artificially inflating the price of El Paso securities.

More specifically, the Complaint alleges that during the Class
Period defendants caused El Paso to report in its public
filings, press releases and other public statements favorable
financial results by, among other things, artificially inflating
the Company's reported reserves as it relates to oil and natural
gas.

The Complaint alleges, among other things, that defendants
failed to disclose that the Company's estimates were based on
improperly manipulated reported reserve estimates that deviated
from industry standards and resulted in a knowingly false high
estimate of reported reserves.

On February 17, 2004, El Paso announced, that the Company had
overstated its reported reserves by 41% or 1.8 trillion cubic
feet and warned of a $1 billion pretax charge triggered by the
revision. On this news, El Paso shares fell 18% and traded as
low as $7.26 per share.

For more details, contact Susan Lee by Mail: 212 East 39th
Street, New York, New York 10016 by Phone: (212) 889-3700 or
(800) 889-3701 (Toll Free) or by E-mail: slee@abbeygardy.com


EL PASO CORPORATION: Chitwood & Harley Lodges Stock Suit in TX
--------------------------------------------------------------
Chitwood & Harley, LLP initiated a securities class action in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of
Texas against El Paso Corporation, and:

     (1) Ronald Kuehn, Jr.,

     (2) Douglas Forshee and

     (3) D. Dwight Scott

The suit (Civ. Action No. H-04-0635) is pending in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of Texas before
Judge John Rainey.  The lawsuit was filed on behalf of all
persons who purchased or otherwise acquired the securities of El
Paso Corporation, (NYSE:EP), between March 30, 2003 through and
including February 17, 2004, inclusive.

The complaint asserts violations of the Securities Exchange Act
of 1934 and violations of various GAAP and industry rules.
Specifically, the complaint charges defendants with issuing
materially false and misleading statements regarding El Paso's
financial results and reported reserves. As a result of
Defendants' conduct, the complaint alleges, El Paso was able to
inflate its stock price, maintain its credit rating, and
maintain its status in the energy industry as a leader.

On February 17, 2004, El Paso announced that the Company had cut
its proven natural gas reserves estimate by approximately 41
percent and would take a $1 billion pretax charge in the fourth
quarter of 2003. In response to the Company's devastating news,
El Paso's stock price plummeted by approximately 18 % to close
at $7.26 on unusually heavy trading volume of 57 million shares
on February 18, 2004.

The magnitude of the writedown of the reserves shocked the
market and, quoting one analyst, "suggests to us that prior
management had significantly overstated the productive capacity
of the company's gas reserves." Another analyst is quoted as
alleging that El Paso had "prematurely booked" certain reserves
before securing necessary permission to develop the assets.

For more details, contact Lauren Antonino by Phone:
1-888-873-3999, ext. 6888 (toll-free) or by e-mail:
lsa@classlaw.com or contact Nichole Browning by Phone: 1-888-
873-3999, ext. 4873. or by Mail: 1230 Peachtree Street, Suite
2300, Atlanta, GA 30309


INTERPOOL INC.: Marc Henzel Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NJ
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the District of
New Jersey, Trenton Division, against defendants Interpool, Inc.
(Other OTC:IPLI.PK) and Martin Tuchman (CEO and President),
Raoul J. Witteveen (former COO and President) and Mitchell I.
Gordon (CFO, Executive V.P.) on behalf of all persons who
purchased the securities of Interpool, Inc. between March 27,
2001 and December 29, 2003, seeking remedies under the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

The Complaint alleges that defendants violated the Exchange Act
by issuing material misrepresentations concerning its reported
financial results between March 27, 2001 and December 29, 2003.
The Company has seriously deficient or non-existent internal
controls relating to the accounting for direct finance leases,
the policies for complex transactions, communications of complex
transactions, adequate staffing within the accounting
department, accounting for income taxes, communication of
information regarding related party transactions, security of
information technology, accounting for inter-company
eliminations, and record keeping by various internal
departments.

As result of the Company's numerous accounting improprieties,
Interpool had overstated its net income during the Class Period
as well as had overstated its shareholders' equity during the
Class Period. Therefore, its reported financial results did not
fairly present the results of its operations and were not
prepared in accordance with GAAP. On December 29, 2003,
Interpool announced an additional delay in the completion of its
restated 2000 and 2001 and first three quarters of 2002
financial statements and 2002 financial statements.

The additional delay was necessary to complete further analysis
of the accounting for a pending claim by Interpool under its
insurance policy covering leaded faults. Due to this delay, the
Company stated that it did not know if it would meet certain
covenants and waivers as well as the potential to have a greater
reduction on Interpool's restated stockholders equity. Also on
this date, the New York Stock Exchange announced that it would
suspend trading in Interpool's common stock and commenced
delisting proceedings.

As a result of this announcement, Interpool common stock dropped
from $19.26 adjusted close on December 26, to an adjusted close
on December 29 of $12.00, a 37% drop.

For more details, contact Marc S. Henzel by Mail: 273 Montgomery
Ave, Suite 202 Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004-2808, by Phone:
(888) 643-6735 or (610) 660-8000, by Fax: (610) 660-8080, by E-
mail: Mhenzel182@aol.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://members.aol.com/mhenzel182.


MEDICAL STAFFING: Milberg Weiss Files Securities Suit in S.D. FL
----------------------------------------------------------------
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes and Lerach LLP initiated a
securities class action in the United States District Court for
the Southern District of Florida on behalf of purchasers of
Medical Staffing Network Holdings Inc. (NYSE:MRN) common stock
traceable to Medical Staffing's Registration
Statement/Prospectus used in connection with its April 17, 2002
Initial Public Offering.

The complaint charges Medical Staffing and certain of its
officers and directors with violations of the Securities Act of
1933.  Medical Staffing is a medical staffing company and
provides per-diem nurse staffing services (staffing assignments
of less than 13 weeks in duration).  On April 17, 2002, Medical
Staffing completed an IPO of 7,812,500 shares of stock at $19
per share pursuant to a Registration Statement/Prospectus. The
offering provided that Medical Staffing would receive $148
million in proceeds.

The complaint alleges that, in fact, the Registration
Statement/Prospectus was materially false and misleading in that
the statements set forth therein misstated or omitted to state
material facts which, when the Company was going public, were
then causing material problems for the Company, including a
dramatic adverse trend in the Company's "de novo" program and
its "per diem" Medical Staffing segment, as well as negative
seasonality trends.

For more details, contact William Lerach by Phone: 800-449-4900
or by E-mail: wsl@milberg.com


PROGRESS ENERGY: Charles Piven Lodges Securities Suit in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated a securities
class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York, on behalf of those who obtained
Contingent Value Obligations in exchange for their Florida
Progress common stock pursuant to the closing of the merger of
CP&L Energy and Florida Progress Corporation and those who
purchased the CVOs in the period between November 30, 2000 and
February 12, 2002, inclusive, against defendant Progress Energy,
Inc. and William Cavanaugh, III.

The action charges that defendants violated federal securities
laws by issuing a series of materially false and misleading
statements to the market throughout the Class Period which
statements had the effect of artificially inflating the market
price of the subject securities.

For more information, contact Charles J. Piven, P.A., by Mail:
The World Trade Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt Street, Suite
2525, Baltimore, Maryland 21202, by Phone: 410/986-0036, or by
E-mail: hoffman@pivenlaw.com.


RYLAND GROUP: Cauley Geller Launches Securities Suit in C.D. CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Cauley Geller Bowman & Rudman, LLP initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Central
District of California on behalf of purchasers of Ryland Group,
Inc. (NYSE: RYL) publicly traded securities during the period
between October 22, 2003 through January 7, 2004, inclusive.

The complaint charges Ryland Group, R. Chad Dreier, and Gordon
Milne with violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder. Between October 22, 2003 and January 7, 2004, the
defendants issued a series of material misrepresentations to the
market concerning the Company's financial results.

More specifically, the defendants' statements during the Class
Period were materially false and misleading because they failed
to disclose and/or misrepresented the following adverse facts,
among others:

     (1) that the Texas market (and particularly Dallas) was in
         a freefall;

     (2) that Texas buyers were proving highly resistant to the
         entry level homes that Ryland Group was offering; and

     (3) that the defendants knew or recklessly disregarded that
         offerings of "move up" properties would be better
         received in that market, but that Ryland Group was not
         in a position to offer these types of properties.

On January 8, 2004, Ryland Group shocked the market by
announcing that new orders for the fourth quarter had decreased
8.9%, largely due to an astounding 33% decline in Texas orders.
Indeed, only 344 new homes were sold by Ryland Group in that
quarter, as contrasted with sales of 770 new units in the third
quarter of 2003.

This development stood in stark contrast to the positive
statements issued during the Class Period by defendants. Ryland
Group stock dived $10.16, to $72.89 per share, after closing at
$83.05 per share on January 7, 2004 on heavy trading volume.

For more details, contact Samuel H. Rudman, David A. Rosenfeld,
Jackie Addison, Heather Gann or Chandra West by Mail: P.O. Box
25438, Little Rock, AR 72221-5438 by Phone: 1-888-551-9944 by
Fax: 1-501-312-8505 or by E-mail: info@cauleygeller.com


                        *********

A list of Meetings, Conferences and Seminars appears in each
Wednesday's edition of the Class Action Reporter. Submissions
via e-mail to carconf@beard.com are encouraged.

Each Friday's edition of the CAR includes a section featuring
news on asbestos-related litigation and profiles of target
asbestos defendants that, according to independent researches,
collectively face billions of dollars in asbestos-related
liabilities.  The Asbestos Defendant Profiles is backed by an
online database created to respond to custom searches. Go to
http://litigationdatasource.com/asbestos_defendant_profiles.html

                        *********


S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless Hills,
Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick, Maryland
USA.  Roberto Amor, Aurora Fatima Antonio and Lyndsey Resnick,
Editors.

Copyright 2004.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed
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