/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/050120.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Thursday, January 20, 2005, Vol. 7, No. 14


ADVANCED MAGNESIUM: IN Residents Commence Suit Over Plant Fire
ALABAMA: Schools To Obtain Up To $41M From Land Deals Settlement
ALLIANT PHARMACEUTICALS: Recalls Methylin CT Due To Health Risk
ALYON TECHNOLOGIES: WI Joins Settlement Over Fraudulent Billing
AT&T CORPORATION: Reaches Settlement for FL Consumer Fraud Suit

BIOPURE CORPORATION: Asks MA Court To Dismiss Securities Lawsuit
BODY WISE: Inks Settlement Over Deceptive Supplement Marketing
CHARLES DYER: SEC Commences Civil Contempt Charges V. Entities
ECTEL LTD.: Securities Fraud Suit Lodged in MD V. Firm, Officers
ENFORMA NATURAL: Reaches Settlement For Consumer Fraud Charges

ENTERASYS NETWORKS: Agrees To Settle Protracted Shareholder Suit
FLETCHER ALLEN: Ex-CEO Pleads Guilty To Making False Statements
FRONTIER LEASING: Reaches Settlement For Consumer Fraud in VT
LIBERTY MEDIA: Shareholders Lodge Suit V. UnitedGlobalCom Merger
LUFKIN INDUSTRIES: TX Court Finds Firm Guilty Of Discrimination

MARYLAND: Judge Urges Settlement For MD Desegregation Lawsuit
MISSISSIPPI: County Judge Orders Plaintiffs To Prove Residency
MISSISSIPPI: Deal Allows Juveniles To Have Access To Attorneys
MOHN FINANCIAL: Court Rules In SEC's Favor on Securities Fraud
NATIONAL RESEARCH: Vermont Joins Nationwide Privacy Settlement

NEW YORK: Governor Initiates New Campaign V. Childhood Obesity
NORTH DAKOTA: Lawmakers Push For Anti-Obesity Suit Legislature
OSTEOTECH INC.: Ex-Employees Settle SEC Insider Trading Charges
QUALITY DISTRIBUTION: Reaches Pact For Stock, Derivative Suits
SIDLEY AUSTIN: EEOC Launches Age Discrimination Lawsuit in IL

UNITED STATES: Numerous Lawsuits Challenge Large Mutual Funds
WAFFLE HOUSE: Customers Lodge Race Discrimination Lawsuit in VA
WASHINGTON: To Join State Farm Nationwide Salvaged Vehicles Pact

                   New Securities Fraud Cases

AMERICAN BUSINESS: Berger & Montague Files Securities Suit in PA
CONEXANT SYSTEMS: Shepherd Finkelman Files Securities Suit in NJ
KRISPY KREME: Alfred G. Yates Lodges Securities Suit in M.D. NC
TASER INTERNATIONAL: Spector Roseman Files Securities Suit in AZ
UNITEDGLOBALCOM: Faruqi & Faruqi Lodges Stock Fraud Suit in DE

UNITEDGLOBAL INC.: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Stock Suit in DE


ADVANCED MAGNESIUM: IN Residents Commence Suit Over Plant Fire
Advanced Magnesium Alloys Corporation faces a class action over
a fire in its Anderson, Indiana facility, which caused a major
evacuation, Wish-TV reports.

Attorney Thomas E. Hamer filed the lawsuit, seeking redress for
evacuation costs, property damage, economic losses including
cleanup costs and other damages.

The magnesium fire burned for hours and led to the evacuation of
some of the 5,000 people who live in Anderson's downtown area.
Investigators don't yet know what caused the fire, although some
theorize that a burst pipe may have played a role. Magnesium
will burn and can even explode on contact with water and must be
extinguished with sand or other material.

A press conference about the lawsuit will be held at Thomas
Hamer's office at 2101 E. 8th Street in Anderson at 3:00 pm on
Wednesday. Informational meetings will be held at the Holiday
Inn conference room in Anderson on Friday evening from 6:00 to
9:00 pm, Saturday from noon to 9:00 pm and on Sunday from 3:00
to 9:00 pm.

ALABAMA: Schools To Obtain Up To $41M From Land Deals Settlement
Alabama schools are set to receive up to $41 million from a
lawsuit settlement involving school land deals dating back two
centuries, a payment nearly $16 million bigger than initially
promised, the Associated Press reports.

The agreement resolves a 2002 lawsuit filed by the Covington
County school board to prevent the state from using the money,
which accumulated over the years through sales, leases, timber-
cutting and mineral income on land designated for local schools.

The Covington County school board, which will receive $4.01
million, the largest known portion of the payout had filed a
class-action lawsuit against then-Governor Don Siegelman and
other state officials, claiming the money didn't belong to the
state and couldn't be used to ease state school budget cuts. A
court ruling in September 2002 froze the assets and promised the
school systems $24.7 million.  However, further research by
court-appointed auditors found there is actually between $36
million and $41 million available to the schools, William
Alverson of Andalusia told AP.

Commenting on the soon to be handed out awards, Jacky Sparks,
superintendent for Calhoun County Schools, which will receive
$1.7 million about 20 times what it was initially due, told the
Associated Press, "I thought it was a joke."

Mr. Alverson continued, "The total payout increased after
additional funds were discovered. It's all coming out of the
same funds originally part of (the legal case). With the audited
figure, we precisely know where we should be giving the money
under the court order."

Covington County, while still getting the most, saw its fortunes
fall the most in the audit, initially designated to get $8.2
million, the county school system was discovered to have been
assigned too much land, and thus its share was halved.

Mr. Alverson told the Associated Press that the available money
was buried in complex, lengthy paper trails reaching back to
before Alabama was a state. He further stated that the money
will go to 98 of Alabama's systems who are owed money from land
leases or interest earned on land sales, based on a 1785 federal
land ordinance that forced states to set aside money for
education spending.

The ordinance required each township in the state to reserve a
1-square-mile plot of what was known as the "16th section" of
their land as schoolhouse property. Some towns were able to
build schools on the land, but sometimes the land fell on
swamps, rivers or on mountainsides that weren't suitable for
classrooms or deemed worthless. Other land in other counties or
even other states often replaced this worthless land. For some
school systems, valuable stretches either contained mineral
veins or were better suited for farming or timber. Those
properties were leased or extracted and over the years some
counties sold their land and deposited the money into accounts
that paid interest.

According to attorney Jerry Stokes, "Documents from the
Department of Education and Department of Conservation and
Resources told you which land produced the money, and then we
figured out which township it belonged to."

"This is many years of built-up funds," Mr. Alverson said. "You
won't have this kind of money in the future." The school systems
that are the biggest winners in the settlement are: Covington
County, $4.01 million, Jefferson County, $3.98 million, Colbert
County, $2.59 million, Calhoun County, $1.7 million, and Marion
County, $1.03 million. The smallest amount, 72 cents, goes to
Mobile County Schools.

ALLIANT PHARMACEUTICALS: Recalls Methylin CT Due To Health Risk
Alliant Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is voluntarily recalling one lot
of Methylphenidate HCl Chewable Tablets, 5 mg strength, lot
number #AMT50402A. After testing and evaluation, Alliant found
that this lot of 5 mg strength might contain up to three times
the active ingredient, and elected to recall the medication as
it could pose serious health risk for some patients.
Methylphenidate HCl Chewable Tablets (Methylinr CT) are a
therapy for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and

Alliant immediately notified the FDA of its findings, and is
notifying doctors and pharmacists of the recall by letter. They
will be asking pharmacists to notify patients who purchased the
recalled product from their pharmacy. Distributors and
pharmacies should check the lot numbers on the product label and
promptly quarantine any product with the lot number #AMT50402A
and expiration date of April 2006.

"We are committed to taking whatever steps are necessary to
ensure the safety of all patients who use any one of our
products," said Mark Pugh, President of Alliant Pharmaceuticals.
"We are confident that this matter will be resolved quickly."

Of the 2,820 bottles from this lot, the company estimates fewer
than 500 bottles of the affected product are in distribution. To
date, the company has not received any complaints or reports of
adverse events associated with the affected lot. Patients should
call their pharmacists or physicians if they have questions
about the recall. Health care providers or patients who have
questions or wish to report adverse events can also contact
Chris LaFreniere, Alliant Pharmaceuticals, at 770-817-4500.

ALYON TECHNOLOGIES: WI Joins Settlement Over Fraudulent Billing
Wisconsin Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager's office obtained
a judgment against Alyon Technologies, Inc., that will require
the company -- which provides billing and collection services
for some online adult Web sites -- to change the way it does
business and make it more difficult for children to access those
adult sites.

According to the agreement and the Department of Justice's
original complaint, consumers claimed they were billed $4.99 per
minute for access to adult Web sites they say they did not
access and did not agree to purchase.

In some cases, consumers said their children were exposed to or
accessed the adult sites without their parents' permission,
although the parents were later billed.  Under most
circumstances, contracts with minors are not enforceable.  The
case alleged the defendant had no basis to demand parents pay
charges when parents did not agree beforehand to pay them.  The
case was investigated by the Department of Justice and the
Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

"This case demonstrates how easily the Internet can lead
consumers down a costly path where companies start running their
money meters without a consumers' knowledge or consent," AG
Lautenschlager said.  "Consumers have reported that by clicking
on an innocent looking pop-up or spam, they triggered the
download of modem dialer software, were cut off from their own
service provider and connected to a phone line in New Jersey.
This case also underscores the need for adult supervision when
kids are on the computer."

The amended complaint, filed March 10, 2004, alleged the
defendant would start billing consumers after unsuspecting
adults or minors, without permission, opened pop-up windows or
spam that automatically downloaded modem dialer software onto
their computers.  That software could then be used to dial up
the Alyon billing gateway to access adult material.  Alyon
captured the phone number, matched it with a name and address
and then billed the consumers $4.99 per minute, allegedly
without the consumers' knowledge or consent.  Alyon allegedly
told consumers they owed the charges even when consumers denied
having accessed or agreed to purchase the adult materials.

The service also allegedly was set up to allow children to
easily access the adult sites:  no credit card number is
required and 900 number blocks are ineffective because people
are unknowingly connected to a number with a New Jersey area
code.  The defendant billed consumers in amounts ranging from
less than $100 to more than $700.

A consent judgment filed in Dane County Circuit Court requires
Alyon Technologies, Inc., of Secaucus, New Jersey, to make
significant changes to their practices and to pay Wisconsin and
22 other states $285,000 to settle the lawsuit.  That complaint
charged the defendant with violating the Wisconsin consumer
protection laws.

The provisions contained in the settlement include:

     (1) Alyon has improved its process for ensuring that adults
         authorized to incur charges are on the other end of the
         modem before connecting them to the adult material or
         starting the clock on per-minute charges.

     (2) Alyon will provide consumers with a free utility
         program they can download to remove all modem dialer
         software deposited by their clients, the adult Web site

     (3) Alyon will require the adult Web site operators to
         refrain from using potentially deceptive methods to
         download modem dialer software onto consumers'
         computers.  Such prohibited methods include impairing a
         computer user's ability to read the terms and
         conditions of the software download; disabling a
         computer user's ability to close out a pop-up box;
         depositing spyware on consumers' computers; and
         impairing the add/remove controls within computers'
         operating systems, which would make it difficult for
         consumers to detect and remove the modem dialer

     (4) The defendant automatically will credit certain
         eligible consumers' bills and provide cash refunds
         available to a small group of eligible consumers who
         previously had paid disputed Alyon charges.

Consumers billed for charges allegedly incurred before June 15,
2003, but who do not qualify for an automatic bill credit or
cash refund will have an opportunity to request a credit of
disputed charges.  However, they must follow a procedure for
making such a request, which includes completing and returning
an affidavit to the defendant within 45 days of the defendant's
collection attempt.  The affidavits are available on Alyon's Web

Consumers who have questions about an Alyon bill can call the
Wisconsin Department of Justice at 1-800-998-0700.

AT&T CORPORATION: Reaches Settlement for FL Consumer Fraud Suit
Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist reached a settlement with
AT&T Corporation that will provide free telephone calling cards
for Floridians currently serving in military duty overseas in
the war on terror.  Joining AG Crist at the settlement
announcement was Maj. General John Castellaw, Chief of Staff of
the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) based in Tampa.

The settlement agreement documents that Florida consumers have
received more than $1 million in refunds or credits, and
resolves the lawsuit in which the Attorney General alleged that
AT&T wrongly billed consumers for services they neither
requested nor received.

More than 86,700 Florida consumers were hit with an improper
$3.95 monthly charge beginning around January 1, 2004.  Under
the agreement, AT&T will provide up to 8,000 prepaid phone cards
to be distributed by the Attorney General's to Floridians
serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait as part of the war on
terrorism.  The cards will go to each member of the United
States military who is currently serving in those countries and
who lives in Florida or whose family lives in Florida.  All such
personnel - including those in active duty, reservists and
members of the National Guard - will receive phone cards for 60
minutes of calling time from Iraq, Afghanistan or Kuwait to the
United States.

"We could not be happier with concluding this litigation on such
positive terms," said AG Crist.  "Improper billing and marketing
practices have stopped and tens of thousands of Florida
consumers have been compensated, and now our men and women
fighting the war on terror will have more opportunities to speak
with their loved ones at home. AT&T made a good call by agreeing
to correct its mistake."

"Let me express our gratitude on behalf of the servicemembers
who will receive theses phone cards," said General Castellaw.
"Being able to talk with family and friends back home goes a
long way towards boosting the morale of our deployed Soldiers,
Sailors, Airmen and Marines."

AG Crist sued AT&T on April 30 alleging violations of Florida's
Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. Florida's lawsuit was
followed by investigations of AT&T by the Federal Trade
Commission and the New York Attorney General's Office. Under the
Assurance of Voluntary Compliance, the company promises that it
will prevent a recurrence of sales and marketing practices that
led consumers to be improperly charged and then, when they
called to complain, subjected to telemarketing sales pitches for
AT&T services.  An estimated 1 million telephone consumers
nationwide were affected by the improper charges.

Three weeks after the Attorney General filed suit, a court
ordered AT&T to refund improper charges. According to the
agreement, AT&T has processed refunds or credits totaling
$1,071,002 for Florida consumers affected by the improper
charges. The company also sent letters of apology to affected

The agreement comes three months after a Leon County Circuit
Court judge allowed the Attorney General's lawsuit to move
forward, denying AT&T's request to halt the lawsuit and send the
case to an administrative hearing under the authority of the
Florida Public Service Commission.  In addition to providing up
to 8,000 prepaid phone cards, AT&T will submit $250,000 to
reimburse Florida taxpayers for the costs of the investigation
and litigation.

BIOPURE CORPORATION: Asks MA Court To Dismiss Securities Lawsuit
Biopure Corporation asked the United States District Court for
the District of Massachusetts to dismiss the consolidated
securities class action filed against it, its former Chief
Executive Officer, its Chief Technology Officer and its former
Chief Financial Officer.

Several suits were initially filed between December 30, 2003 and
January 28, 2004 by alleged purchasers of the Company's common
stock.  Those complaints have since been consolidated in a
single action and an amended complaint has been filed against
the Company, the previously named individuals and several of our
current and former directors and officers.

The complaint claims that the Company violated the federal
securities laws by publicly disseminating materially false and
misleading statements regarding the status of its Hemopure BLA
with the FDA and of its trauma development program, resulting in
the artificial inflation of Biopure's common stock price during
the purported class period.  The complaint does not specify the
amount of alleged damages plaintiffs seek to recover.  The
complaint sets forth a class period of March 2003 through
December 24, 2003.

LITIGATION, case no.  1:03-cv-12628-NG," filed in the United
States District Court in Massachusetts under Judge Nancy

Law firm for the defendants is Bingham McCutchen LLP, 150
Federal Street, Boston, MA 02110, Phone: 617-951-8717,
Fax: 617-951-8736, E-mail: robert.buhlman@bingham.com,
eunice.lee@bingham.com, raquel.webster@bingham.com.  The
plaintiff firms for this litigation are:

     (1) Stull, Stull & Brody, 6 East 45th Street, New York, NY
         10017, Phone: 212-687-7230

     (2) Shapiro Haber & Urmy LLP, 53 State Street, Boston, MA
         02108, Phone: 617-439-3939, Fax: 617-439-0134, E-mail:

     (3) Gilman and Pastor, LLP, Suite 500, Stonehill Corporate
         Center, 999 Broadway, Saugus, MA 01906, Phone: 781-231-
         7850, Fax: 781-231-7840 (fax) E-mail:
         palagorio@gilmanpastor.com or dpastor@gilmanpastor.com

BODY WISE: Inks Settlement Over Deceptive Supplement Marketing
The Federal Trade Commission, the Orange County (California)
District Attorney, and the California State Attorney General
have reached settlements with Body Wise International, Inc., an
Orange County business, resolving allegations that Body Wise
deceptively advertised the "AG-Immune" dietary supplement.

The FTC alleges that Body Wise made unsubstantiated claims that
AG-Immune prevents, treats, or cures numerous diseases,
including cancer, HIV/AIDS and asthma, in violation of a 1995
FTC order. The FTC's proposed settlement with Body Wise, if
approved by the court, requires Body Wise to pay a $2 million
civil penalty to the FTC. California's proposed settlement would
require Body Wise to pay the State of California an additional
$1.58 million in penalties and costs for allegedly violating the
State's Business and Professions and Health and Safety Codes.
The FTC also reached a settlement with Jesse A. Stoff, M.D., an
expert endorser of AG-Immune, to resolve allegations that he
made deceptive claims for the product.

"There is no immunity for violators of FTC Orders - especially
those making false and unsubstantiated claims that their
products cure or treat serious diseases," said Lydia B. Parnes,
Acting Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection.

The FTC complaint names Body Wise International, located in
Tustin, California, and Jesse A. Stoff, M.D, a resident of
Tucson, Arizona. According to the complaint, in April 2000, Body
Wise began marketing AG-Immune, a dietary supplement containing
"antigen infused dialyzable bovine colostrum/whey extract" or
"AI/E-10." BodyWise marketed this and other AI/E-10 products
directly to consumers and through a network of "consultants" who
market and sell Body Wise products to consumers. Body Wise sold
AG-Immune for approximately $50 for a one-month supply, and had
over $14 million in sales.

According to the complaint, Body Wise contracted with Dr. Stoff
to explain the purported medical benefits of AI/E-10 and endorse
Body Wise products containing AI/E-10. In promotional materials
and at seminars, Body Wise and Dr. Stoff allegedly claimed that
AG-Immune could prevent or treat numerous diseases or
conditions, including cancer, HIV/AIDS, heart disease, chronic
fatigue syndrome, and asthma, and that scientific research
suggested these claims. The defendants also allegedly claimed
that AG-Immune improves immune system function to prevent or
treat these and many other diseases and conditions. Dr. Stoff
was paid royalties for every bottle of AG-Immune sold.

In 1995, Body Wise settled FTC allegations that the company made
unsubstantiated claims for weight loss and cholesterol products.
The resulting order bars Body Wise from making certain false or
unsubstantiated claims for dietary supplements, misrepresenting
any test or study, and failing to disclose any material
connection between Body Wise and any person endorsing a Body
Wise product. The FTC alleges that Body Wise violated this FTC
order by making unsubstantiated disease prevention, treatment,
and other health claims for AG-Immune, misrepresenting that
scientific research demonstrated the alleged benefits, and
failing to disclose the material connection between AG-Immune
and its expert endorser, Dr. Stoff. The complaint also alleges
that Dr. Stoff made similar unsubstantiated claims,
misrepresented that scientific research demonstrated the claimed
benefits of the product, and made these claims without
exercising his purported expertise in the prevention and
treatment of disease.

The FTC has obtained two stipulated orders. One order requires
Body Wise to abide by the terms of the FTC's 1995 order and to
pay the FTC a $2 million civil penalty. The order also prohibits
the company from making unsubstantiated disease treatment and
prevention and other health benefit claims for any product or
service for the immune system or weight control, or any health-
related service or therapy, dietary supplement, food, drug, or

The FTC's other stipulated order prohibits Dr. Stoff from making
false or unsubstantiated claims that any food, drug, or dietary
supplement prevents, treats, or cures any disease; activates the
immune system to prevent or treat diseases; or provides any
other health benefit. The order prohibits Dr. Stoff from
misrepresenting the existence or results of tests or studies. In
addition, the order requires Dr. Stoff, when acting as an expert
endorser, to support his expert conclusions with both competent
and reliable scientific evidence and an actual exercise of his
purported expertise. The settlement contains a monetary judgment
of $358,000 against Dr. Stoff, which is suspended because of his
inability to pay. This amount will become due immediately if the
court finds that he misrepresented his financial condition to
the FTC.

Copies of the complaint and the proposed consent orders are
available from the FTC's Web site at http://www.ftc.govand also
from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600
Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580.  For more
details, contact Brenda Mack, Office of Public Affairs by Phone:
202-326-2182 or contact Joel Brewer, Robin Spector or Robert
Frisby, Bureau of Consumer Protection by Phone: 202-326-2967,
202-326-3740, or 202-326-2098

CHARLES DYER: SEC Commences Civil Contempt Charges V. Entities
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed civil contempt
charges against Charles G. Dyer and two entities controlled by
him, Resource F, LLC, and Bunker Hill Aviation, LLC, concerning
their failure to comply with a final judgment entered against
them in September 2003 by the U.S. District Court for the
District of Massachusetts that ordered payment of disgorgement,
interest, and a civil penalty.

In its original complaint filed against Dyer, his entities, and
others on April 16, 2001, the Commission alleged that, between
1997 and 2000, Dyer and his entities participated in a
fraudulent trading scheme that raised approximately $22 million
from at least 50 investors, many of whom were members of the
Christian Science Church. According to the complaint, Dyer
helped promote and administer the trading scheme through his
entities and solicited investors using misrepresentations
typical of Prime Bank-type investment frauds, including that the
investment involved high-quality debt instruments and that
investors' principal was never at risk and could be returned
after one year. According to the complaint, during the initial
stages of the fraud, investors received monthly payments that
the defendants represented were "profits" on their investment.
The complaint alleged, however, that monthly payments to
investors ceased around May 2000, and no investors are known to
have received the return of their investment, as promised by the

The Commission's contempt motion alleges that on Sept. 15, 2003,
the court entered a final judgment by consent against Dyer,
Resource F, and Bunker Hill Aviation that held them jointly and
severally liable for disgorgement and interest of over $570,000.
Dyer was also ordered to pay a civil penalty of $110,000. The
final judgment provided that the disgorgement, interest, and
penalty would be paid on a payment plan over the course of 11
months after entry of the judgment. In its contempt motion, the
Commission alleges that, other than releasing $100,000 that they
were required to place in escrow prior to issuance of the final
judgment, the defendants have made no further payments to
satisfy the final judgment.

ECTEL LTD.: Securities Fraud Suit Lodged in MD V. Firm, Officers
ECtel Ltd., a developer of fraud prevention software for telecom
companies, faces a class action complaint has been filed in the
District Court of the State of Maryland over violations of
federal securities laws, Forbes.com reports.

The suit also names as defendants certain officers and directors
who served ECtel in the years 2001-2003, and major shareholder
ECI Telecom Ltd.  The complaint alleges violation of federal
securities laws and breach of fiduciary duties in connection
with the disclosure of ECtel's financial results between April
2001 and April 2003.

ENFORMA NATURAL: Reaches Settlement For Consumer Fraud Charges
The Federal Trade Commission reached a settlement for its
contempt allegations against several health supplement
retailers, banning them from advertising or marketing weight-
loss products, except exercise programs or equipment.  The
allegations were filed against:

     (1) Enforma Natural Products, Inc.;

     (2) Andrew Grey;

     (3) Twenty-Four Seven, LLC;

     (4) Michael Ehrman; and

     (5) Donna DiFerdinando

The settlement resolves two FTC contempt charges against the two
California-based corporations and the three named individuals
for allegedly violating the terms of a May 2000 final order by
making unsubstantiated and false claims regarding the purported
weight-loss products Fat Trapper, Fat Trapper Plus, Exercise In
A Bottle, Acceleron, and Chitozyme. The settlement also
prohibits the continued use of the trademarks for "Fat Trapper,"
"Fat Trapper Plus," and "Exercise In A Bottle."

In January 2002, the FTC filed an order to show cause alleging
that Enforma, Grey, and Ehrman violated a 2000 order by making
unsubstantiated weight-loss claims for the products Fat Trapper,
Fat Trapper Plus, and Exercise In A Bottle, and by
misrepresenting scientific studies. In July 2002, the FTC filed
a second order to show cause alleging that Enforma, Grey, 24/7,
and DiFerdinando violated the 2000 order by making similar
claims for the weight-loss products Acceleron and Chitozyme.

The settlement bans the above-named individuals and entities
from marketing weight-loss products, except exercise programs or
equipment. The settlement with Enforma, Grey, 24/7, and Ehrman
prohibits them from using or transferring the trade names of Fat
Trapper, Fat Trapper Plus, and Exercise In A Bottle, as well as
other deceptively named products. The settlement requires
Enforma, Grey, 24/7, and Ehrman to pay a total of $300,000 in
consumer redress; in addition, the order contains an avalanche
clause, under which $4,000,000 would become due immediately if
the court finds they misrepresented their financial condition.

In addition, the settlement prohibits the above-named entities
and individuals from making any claims about the benefits,
performance, or efficacy of any dietary supplement, food, drug,
or device unless they have competent and reliable scientific
evidence to support such claims. They also are prohibited from
misrepresenting the existence, contents, validity, results,
conclusions, or interpretations of any test or study for any
product, service, or program. In addition, the settlement
prohibits them from using advertisements that misrepresent that
they are not paid advertising, and requires infomercials of
specified lengths to contain disclosures stating they are paid
advertisements. Also, the settlement prohibits the sale or
rental of any customer list obtained from the sale of any
weight-loss product.

The Commission vote authorizing staff to file a stipulated final
order as to Enforma Natural Products, Inc.; Andrew Grey; and
Michael Ehrman was 5-0. The Commission vote authorizing staff to
file a stipulated final order as to Donna DiFerdinando was 5-0.
The documents were filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Central District of California. The judge signed the orders on
January 13, 2005.

Copies of the stipulated final order as to defendents Enforma
Natural Products, Inc. and Andrew Grey, and as to respondents
Twenty-Four Seven, LLC and Michael Ehrman, and the stipulated
final order as to respondent Donna DiFerdinando are available
from the FTC's Web site at http://www.ftc.govand also from the
FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania
Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580.  For more details, contact
Brenda Mack, Office of Public Affairs by Phone: 202-326-2182 or
Heather Hippsley or Theodore Hoppock, Bureau of Consumer
Protection by Phone: 202-326-3285 or 202-326-3087.

ENTERASYS NETWORKS: Agrees To Settle Protracted Shareholder Suit
Enterasys Networks Inc. entered into an agreement in principle
to settle shareholder litigation filed in 1997 against its
predecessor, Cabletron Systems, Inc., and certain Cabletron
directors and officers, the eChannelLine reports.

Though still subject to execution of a final settlement
agreement and subsequent court approval, the settlement does not
reflect any admission of wrongdoing by the defendants.

In a prepared statement, William K. O'Brien, chief executive
officer of Enterasys Networks, said, "We are very pleased to be
putting this matter behind the Company with minimal financial
impact. Our current management team inherited a significant
number of legacy issues that needed to be dealt with. In
settling the last pending shareholder lawsuit, we are closing a
difficult chapter in the Company's history."

Under the terms of the agreement, Enterasys has agreed to pay
$10.5 million with the Company expecting all but approximately
$500,000 of this amount to be recovered from proceeds of certain
Company insurance policies. As a result, Enterasys expects to
recognize a one-time net charge of approximately $500,000 in the
fourth quarter of fiscal 2004.

The settlement resolves all claims made in nine class action
lawsuits originally filed in the United States District Court
for the District of New Hampshire against Cabletron Systems,
Inc., and various individual defendants, which were consolidated
into a single class action known as In re Cabletron Systems,
Inc. Securities Litigation (C.A. No. 97-542-SD). The litigation
does not involve any current executives of Enterasys Networks.

FLETCHER ALLEN: Ex-CEO Pleads Guilty To Making False Statements
Fletcher Allen Health Care, Inc.'s (FAHC) former chief executive
officer William V. Boettcher pleaded guilty to the federal
felony of conspiring to make false statements in a health care
matter, in violation of 18 U.S.C., Sections 371 and 1035, on
charges arising from fraud in connection with the construction
of the FAHC "Renaissance Project," The Offices of the United
States Attorney for the District of Vermont and the Vermont
Attorney General jointly announced.

In United States District Court, before Chief Judge William K.
Sessions, III, Boettcher, 57, admitted to conspiring with others
to conceal and cover up the true costs of the Renaissance
Project. Boettcher and others entered into a conspiracy to
conceal and cover up the true costs of the Renaissance Project
from both the Vermont Department of Banking, Insurance,
Securities and Health Care Administration ("BISHCA") and the
FAHC Board of Trustees. Pursuant to this conspiracy, Boettcher
and others misrepresented to BISHCA that the cost of the FAHC
Renaissance Project was $173 Million, when the real capital
costs to FAHC exceeded this amount by over $80 million. In
addition, the conspirators also provided false information to
the FAHC Board of Trustees relating to the cost of the project.

According to court records, during Boettcher's tenure as FAHC
CEO, he and others participated in a variety of frauds regarding
project costs. To begin with, the conspirators agreed to, and
did, create two budgets for the Renaissance Project, one for
presentation to BISHCA, and one for internal purposes reflecting
the real costs of the project. The conspiracy also involved the
submission of a false financial model to BISHCA as part of the
application submitted by FAHC in 2000 for approval to build the
Renaissance Project. This financial model falsely described the
total cost of the project as $173 million. During 2000, the
conspirators also failed to tell the FAHC Board of Trustees the
full cost of the project. Furthermore, after obtaining the
BISHCA approval that had been based upon false information, FAHC
continued to misrepresent the costs of the project by, among
other things, claiming in an implementation report filed with
BISHCA in late 2001 that the costs of the project continued to
be approximately $173 million. The conspirators also sought to
prevent additional BISHCA review of the project by falsely
claiming that FAHC had obtained a "guaranteed maximum price"
construction agreement that would allow the project to be built
for the amount approved in the CON, $173 million. During 2001
and early 2002, the conspirators also falsely maintained to the
FAHC Board of Trustees that the project was on budget. Finally,
the conspirators concealed from the FAHC Board of Trustees the
full cost to FAHC of the agreement with the University of
Vermont to develop the education center component of the

As part of the plea agreement, Boettcher may be sentenced to up
to two years in federal prison. Sentencing will be scheduled for
April 18, 2005. Boettcher also agreed to pay FAHC $733,210.21
prior to his sentencing - the same amount that FAHC paid him
upon the termination of his employment in September 2002. If he
abides by the terms and conditions of the agreement Boettcher
will face no additional financial penalties. The plea agreement
is subject to the approval of Chief Judge Sessions. Under the
agreement, both federal and state authorities agree not to bring
additional criminal or civil charges against Mr. Boettcher
relating to the Renaissance project.

In October 2003, FAHC entered into an agreement with the United
States and the State of Vermont settling civil charges that the
federal government brought against FAHC relating to the
Renaissance Project. Pursuant to that agreement FAHC agreed to
cooperate completely, candidly and truthfully with the
investigation related to the Renaissance Project. FAHC has
cooperated fully and continues to cooperate with the ongoing

In October 2004, FAHC's former Chief Operating Officer, Thad
Krupka, pleaded guilty in state court to three counts of making
false statements to BISHCA in connection with the Renaissance
Project, as well as agreeing to federal forfeiture of portions
of his FAHC remuneration. Mr. Krupka also agreed to cooperate
with the ongoing investigation.

The investigation of the Renaissance Project remains ongoing.
Paul Van de Graaf, Chief of the Criminal Division of the United
States Attorney's Office, Assistant United States Attorney
Michael Drescher, and Assistant Attorney General John Treadwell,
of the Vermont Attorney General's Office, have been handling the
prosecution with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of
Investigation and the Office of Inspector General of the
Department of Health and Human Services. Jerome O'Neill, Esq. of
Burlington, represents Mr. Boettcher.

For more details, contact the office of the Attorney General by
Mail: 109 State Street, Montpelier VT 05609-1001 by Phone:
(802) 828-3171 by Fax: (802) 828-5341.

FRONTIER LEASING: Reaches Settlement For Consumer Fraud in VT
Frontier Leasing Corporation of Urbandale, Iowa, will refund
approximately $50,000 to its Vermont business customers for
leases on automated teller machines, state Attorney General
William Sorrell announced in a statement.

Frontier acquired the leases by assignment from an unrelated
Pennsylvania company, Credit Card Center (CCC) that had lured
Vermont business into the leases by using deceptive sales
representations.  The settlement is contained in an Assurance of
Discontinuance filed last week with the Washington Superior
Court. According to the Assurances of Discontinuance:

     (1) CCC, now in bankruptcy, "guaranteed" small businesses
         in Vermont an amount of income from the onsite
         operation of the ATMs that would more than offset their
         lease payments-payments that totaled as much as $18,000
         over the five-year lease term. In fact, the
         "guaranteed" income stopped once CCC experienced
         financial difficulties, and the local businesses were
         left having to continue paying off their leases.

     (2) CCC claimed it had an "advertisement program" under
         which outside companies would pay to advertise goods
         and services via ATM transactions. The program turned
         out to be non-existent.

     (3) CCC failed to provide a three-day right to cancel to
         the local businesses that leased the ATMs.

Although Frontier did not solicit any of the leases, as the
holder of the leases (by assignment) it was responsible, under
Vermont law, for ensuring that the leases were not procured by
fraud. The settlement provides that the company will send a
letter to the seven businesses in Vermont with which it has CCC-
solicited leases, offering an unconditional right to have the
lease canceled and receive a refund of the lease payments made,
minus some (but not all) of the income received by the local
business from ATM transactions. The local businesses will have
30 days from receipt of the letter to send a written request for
lease cancellation and refund. They must also make their ATM
available to be picked up by the leasing company.

If a lease is canceled, there will be no further obligation; any
negative credit information (in cases where the local business
did not make all of its lease payments) will be withdrawn; and
any related lawsuits will be dismissed. Frontier will also pay
$5,000 to the State of Vermont to cover the cost of
investigating and settling this matter. Frontier is the last of
nine leasing companies to settle with the State. In September
2003, eight other leasing companies agreed, in similar
settlements, to refund over $700,000 to Vermont businesses and
to pay a total of $67,000 to the State for costs.

Commenting on the settlement, Attorney General Sorrell noted:
"As between local country store and large leasing company, the
leasing company is in the better position to investigate the
honesty of the people that solicited the lease, and to avoid
deceptive transactions. This ninth settlement completes our work
assisting businesspeople in Vermont who were fraudulently
induced to lease an ATM."

For more details, contact the office of the Attorney General by
Mail: 109 State Street, Montpelier VT 05609-1001 by Phone:
(802) 828-3171 by Fax: (802) 828-5341

LIBERTY MEDIA: Shareholders Lodge Suit V. UnitedGlobalCom Merger
The law firm Schiffrin & Barroway LLP has initiated a lawsuit
that challenges Liberty Media International Inc.'s deal to
acquire the rest of UnitedGlobalCom Inc., the Multichannel News

According to the law firm, it filed the class-action lawsuit in
the Court of Chancery in the State of Delaware on behalf of all
UGC shareholders "challenging the fairness of the recent merger
proposal made by [LMI]."

Under terms of the deal, LMI and UGC each will become wholly
owned subsidiaries of a newly created holding company, Liberty
Global Inc. Then as the deal pushed on each share of LMI will be
exchanged for one share of Liberty Global while each share of
UGC will be exchanged for either 0.2115 shares of Liberty Global
or $9.58 in cash. However, LMI will limit the cash awards to 20%
of the total deal.

The lawsuit contends that the terms of the deal are wholly
inadequate and fail to offer fair value to UGC shareholders for
their equity interests. Schiffrin & Barroway even added that UGC
stock traded in excess of the buyout price in the day prior to
the announcement, and it has been trading at or over that price
for at least the past month.

The lawsuit also contends that LMI timed the proposal to freeze
out UGC's public shareholders in order to capture UGC's future
potential for itself without paying an adequate or fair price to
its public shareholders, and that the timing placed an
artificial lid on the market price of UGC's stock so that the
market would not reflect its improving potential.

LUFKIN INDUSTRIES: TX Court Finds Firm Guilty Of Discrimination
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas -
Lufkin Division ruled that Lufkin Industries, Inc. discriminated
against African-American employees when awarding initial
assignments and promotions.  The court also concluded that the
discrimination resulted in a shortfall in income for those
employees and ordered that Lufkin pay those employees back pay
to remedy such shortfall, together with pre-judgment interest in
the amount of 10%, compounded annually. The Company's
preliminary estimate is that the total amount of back pay that
it would be required to pay to the class of affected employees
could total up to $6 million (including interest). In addition
to back pay with interest, the Court enjoined and ordered the
Company to cease and desist all racially biased assignment and
promotion practices, ordered the Company to pay court costs and
agreed to consider a request for awarding plaintiffs' attorneys'
fees against the Company.

The case arose from a lawsuit originally filed in 1997 by
Sylvester McClain and others against the Company for employment
discrimination. The plaintiffs' claims were certified as a class
action in 1999. The case was closed from 2001-2003 while the
parties unsuccessfully attempted mediation. The only claims made
at trial were those of discrimination in initial assignments,
promotions and compensation.

Lufkin is disappointed with the Court's conclusions and
decisions, and believes them to be contrary to the evidence and
the law. The Company has reviewed this decision with its outside
counsel and intends to appeal the decision to the United States
Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The Company believes
that after a full and fair review by the appeals court of the
evidence, the Court of Appeals will determine that the
plaintiffs have not established their claims of discrimination
by the Company against the plaintiffs and will enter a decision
to that effect and will dismiss the case against Lufkin. If the
District Court's decision is reversed and remanded for a new
trial, Lufkin will vigorously defend itself on retrial.

While the ultimate outcome and impact of these claims against
Lufkin cannot be predicted with certainty, Lufkin believes that
the resolutions of these proceedings will not have a material
adverse effect on its consolidated financial position. However,
should the Company be unsuccessful in its appeal, the final
determination could have a material impact on the Company's
reported earnings and cash flows in a future reporting period.

Lufkin is proud of its record in providing equal employment
opportunity to all persons regardless of race. The Company
appreciates the support it has received from employees and the
community and look forward to the ultimate dismissal of these
allegations against Lufkin.

Lufkin Industries, Inc. sells and services oil field pumping
units, power transmission products, foundry castings and highway
trailers throughout the world. The Company has vertically
integrated all vital technologies required to design,
manufacture and market its products.

MARYLAND: Judge Urges Settlement For MD Desegregation Lawsuit
Baltimore Federal Judge Marvin Garbis urged lawyers in the
housing litigation filed against the City of Baltimore to reach
an out-of-court settlement in the next phase of the case, the
Associated Press reports.

In 1995, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed the
suit against the Baltimore Housing Authority and the U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development on behalf of 14,000
families.  The suit alleges that the defendants did not promote
fair housing and failed to look for solutions beyond the city

Judge Gabis earlier ruled that the city of Baltimore should
desegregate public housing by moving black and poor residents to
the suburbs.  Judge Gabis also set trial for July 18, 2005.  A
remedy phase will be held to figure out how the order should be

Judge Garbis said in Tuesday's order that a settlement instead
of a trial would give Baltimore and its residents a chance for
"a significant step toward a greater degree of racial fairness
and societal equity," and he asked for help from the county
leaders in the Baltimore region, AP reports.

Andrew Freeman, an attorney representing the ACLU, told AP the
judge's order presents "an opportunity to try to right the
wrongs of the housing policy."  Previous efforts to move people
from city housing projects to less segregated areas have met
strong resistance.

MISSISSIPPI: County Judge Orders Plaintiffs To Prove Residency
Jones County Circuit Judge Billy Landrum has given thousands of
asbestos plaintiffs 30 days to show that they live in the county
or were exposed to the harmful fiber there, the Associated Press

According to Marcy Croft, an attorney with Foreman, Perry,
Watkins, Krutz and Tardy, the order applies to nearly 16,000
people who have sued companies over asbestos exposure in Jones
County Circuit Court. She told the Associated Press, if the
plaintiff's provide information that shows their cases arose
from other counties within the state, their suits would be
transferred to the appropriate venue.

Ms. Croft, whose firm represents at least 75 defendants in the
asbestos case and estimates that half of the plaintiffs are from
other states, pointed out that the cases would be dismissed
without prejudice if plaintiffs can't show that they live in
Mississippi or they were exposed to asbestos here. She further
stated, "It's a great victory for all Mississippi's. The
application of recent Supreme Court rulings will allow the
(court) dockets to be cleared."

Mike Cunningham, an attorney for the law offices of Alwyn
Luckey, said the ruling is a blow to those who suffer from
illnesses related to asbestos exposure.

Asbestos is a commercial name for several different types of
minerals that were commonly used in insulation, fireproofing
materials, wallboard materials and automotive brakes until the
1970s. Its use was drastically scaled back after public
disclosure that it had a tendency to break down into microscopic
particles that could hang in the air and be easily inhaled,
potentially causing lung scarring, breathing problems, cancer or
heart failure.

Mr. Cunningham, who said the ruling was akin to "closing the
door on the plaintiffs," would not say how many clients he
represents in Jones County Circuit Court but he did say the
number is "substantial" and that about 20 percent of his clients
are from other states. When asked why there are 16,000 asbestos
lawsuits filed in Jones County, which has a population of about
65,000 people, Mr. Cunningham contends that lawyers have a duty
to take cases "to a jurisdiction where you can present your
cases in a better light."

Judges for Jefferson, Holmes, Humphreys, Yazoo and Hinds
counties have made similar rulings in class-action cases since
the Mississippi Supreme Court took up the issue in August. The
justices ruled that plaintiffs have to provide defendants with
information on who the plaintiff is suing and why. Plaintiffs
are also told to include when and where the exposure occurred.
The Supreme Court said cases should be dismissed if the
information is not provided.

MISSISSIPPI: Deal Allows Juveniles To Have Access To Attorneys
Juveniles at training schools in Hinds and Marion counties will
be allowed by the state of Mississippi to have access to
attorneys who are monitoring living conditions at the centers,
the Associated Press reports.

The deal was reached this past week between the Department of
Human Services and attorneys who filed a class action suit
against operations of the Oakley school in Raymond and the
Columbia school in Marion County.

According to David Miller, an attorney with the Mississippi
Center for Justice, under the settlement, lawyers can visit
children to discuss their treatment. Before the deal, only
court-appointed attorneys were allowed on the training school
grounds. Mr. Miller further told AP, "While this improves
access, there is still a lot of work to do about the systemic

The class-action suit was filed after a mother saw bruises on
her son while visiting him at Columbia. The mother said a school
administrator would not allow her son to meet with attorneys on
campus without a court order.

The Center for Justice and the Southern Poverty Law Center,
based in Alabama, filed the suit last year on behalf of a 14-
year-old boy in U.S. District Court in Hattiesburg, which just
came after the U.S. Justice Department filed a federal lawsuit
in 2003 against the state over conditions at the juvenile

The Justice Department suit, which is expected to be heard in
December, alleges that children were routinely hit, shackled to
poles, sprayed with pepper spray while in restraints, and hog-
tied in a cell known as the "dark room." An investigation also
determined that the staff sometimes forced girls suffering from
heat exhaustion to eat their own vomit.

Commenting on the settlement, Mississippi Center for Justice
President Martha Bergmark told AP, "The new policy is intended
to protect the constitutional and statutory rights of children
confined at the training schools."

The term of the agreement include:

     (1) Training schools staff will inform each child orally
         and in writing of their rights to access counsel and
         the courts.

     (2) Each child will receive a list of free legal counsel
         and assistance in contacting counsel of their choice.

     (3) Attorneys can visit with a child upon notice and with
         the approval of the child's guardian, youth court
         counsel or youth court judge.

Assistant Attorney General Harold Pizzetta confirmed the
settlement but said office policy prevented him from speaking at
length about the deal. "It was a compromise," he told AP.

MOHN FINANCIAL: Court Rules In SEC's Favor on Securities Fraud
The Securities and Exchange Commission obtained from the
Honorable Patrick J. Duggan, U.S. District Judge for the Eastern
District of Michigan, Orders of Permanent Injunction (Orders)
against Keith Mohn (Mohn), Mohn Asset Management, L.L.C. (Mohn
Asset Management), and Mohn Financial Group, L.L.C. (Mohn
Financial Group) (collectively, the Mohn Defendants). The Orders
prohibit the Mohn Defendants from engaging in securities fraud
in violation of Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933
(Securities Act), Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act
of 1934  (Exchange Act) and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, Section
15(c)(1) of the Exchange Act and Rule 15c1-2 thereunder, and
Sections 206 (1) and 206(2) of the Investment Advisers Act. The
Orders further prohibit the Mohn Defendants from acting as
unregistered brokers in violation of Section 15(a) of the
Exchange Act and selling unregistered securities in violation of
Sections 5(a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act. The Orders also
provide that the Court will determine whether and to what extent
to order disgorgement and impose civil penalties against the
Mohn Defendants at a separate hearing upon due notice and motion
by the Commission.

The Commission sued the Mohn Defendants, among others, on Nov.
21, 2002. The Commission's Complaint alleged that Mohn, Mohn
Asset Management, Mohn Financial Group and J. Patrick Kisor
(Kisor) offered and sold investments in Agave, Ltd. (Agave) and
Genesis Trading Associates, L.L.C. (Genesis), raising a total of
approximately $31 million. The complaint alleged that instead of
investing in options, as represented to investors, Kisor
misappropriated the vast majority of investor funds for personal
purposes and used a significant portion of the funds for
illiquid, risky investments in private companies or penny
stocks. According to the complaint, when Mohn learned that Kisor
was using the funds for undisclosed investments and that Kisor
had misappropriated investor funds, Mohn failed to tell
investors these facts. Rather, Mohn, through Mohn Asset
Management and Mohn Financial Group, continued to send investors
statements that overvalued their investments in Agave and
Genesis and invested some of their funds in risky and illiquid
investments in private companies, without telling investors. The
Commission's complaint also alleged that Mohn, Mohn Asset
Management, and Mohn Financial Group sold unregistered
securities and acted as an investment adviser and unregistered

NATIONAL RESEARCH: Vermont Joins Nationwide Privacy Settlement
Vermont is joining 41 other states in a consumer protection
settlement with National Research Center for College and
University Admissions ("NRCCUA") concerning NRCCUA's collection
of personal information through high school student surveys,
state Attorney General William Sorrell announced.

The states allege that NRCCUA, a Missouri-based not-for-profit
corporation, represented that the information it collected from
high school students was shared only with colleges, universities
and other entities providing education-related services when, in
fact, NRCCUA shared the information with businesses that used
the information to solicit the students for sales of educational
and non-educational commercial products and services.

The settlement will require NRCCUA to provide more accurate
information to parents and students, so that they can make an
informed decision whether or not to participate in the survey.
"In this age of identity theft, unwanted spam, and other
problems, the unauthorized use of one's personal information is
becoming an increasing concern throughout the country," said
Sorrell. "Students and their parents deserve to know when
personal information might be shared with others and may, in
some instances, choose not to participate in these surveys."

NRCCUA surveys and collects information from hundreds of
thousands of high school students each year. In 2001, it
collected personal information from more than 2 million high
school students who completed its surveys.

The NRCCUA surveys ask students for personal information, such
as their name, address, gender, grade point average, date of
birth, academic and occupational interests, racial or ethnic
background, and, in the event the student is interested in
attending a college with a religious affiliation, the
denomination of their choice.

The settlement, through an Assurance of Discontinuance filed in
Washington Superior Court, requires NRCCUA to:

    (1) Not misrepresent how personally identifiable information
        will be collected, used or disclosed, or how the
        collection of the information is funded.

    (2) Disclose clearly and conspicuously why it collects
        personal information of students and the types of
        entities to which it is disclosed.

    (3) Make such disclosures in all of its privacy statements
        and in all questionnaires, survey instruments, and other

    (4) Cease all future use of survey data collected from a
        student if a parent (in the case of a minor) or an adult
        high school student requests that the student be opted-
        out of completing the survey or that NRCCUA cease using
        previously collected information.

NRCCUA did not admit any violations in settling the matter but
agreed to change its practices as required by the Assurance. In
the Assurance, NRCCUA stated that it had ceased permitting use
of the student data for non-educational-related marketing
purposes in 2002.

As part of the settlement, NRCCUA will make a payment of
$300,000 to the states to be used for attorneys' fees and
investigative costs, consumer education, litigation, or for
public protection or local consumer aid funds.

NEW YORK: Governor Initiates New Campaign V. Childhood Obesity
New York Governor George Pataki and the State Legislature are
initiating a new campaign seeking to stop the growing epidemic
of childhood obesity, the Associated Press reports.  The new
campaign, named "Active-8 Kids," seeks to promote better
nutrition and more active lifestyles among youngsters.

Statistics from the state WIC association, which provides
nutritional support for low-income mothers and children, show
that nearly a third of the children age 2-5 participating in the
states Childhood Obesity Prevention Program are overweight or at
risk of being overweight.

New York City's health department recently found 43 percent of
elementary school students in the city are overweight, half of
them obese.  Researchers found Hispanic and black children were
more prone to being overweight than white or Asian kids.
Children who were at 85 percentile of their weight for their age
and height were considered overweight and those at the 95th
percentile or above were considered obese, AP reports.

State Assemblyman Felix Ortiz wants the state to enhance the
Program, calling excessive weight among young people both a
present and a future danger to New Yorkers.  "We are facing a
growing epidemic which not only kills today, but may overwhelm
our state's health and financial resources in coming years," Mr.
Ortiz, a Brooklyn Democrat, told AP.

Mr. Ortiz added that overweight children were in urban, suburban
and rural areas of the state.  "Everywhere I traveled in the
state ... we learned this is a serious problem," Ortiz told AP.

Former Olympic swimmer Janet Evans and Philadelphia Flyers
goalie Robert Esche have agreed to lend their names to that

"Kids who get active in sports before the age of 8 have a high
probability of being slim and lean when they get older," Mr.
Esche, a Utica native, told AP.  "I feel it makes you a better
person, more excited about life and more excited about waking up
every day."

"If we do not act today to curb the sedentary and inactive
lifestyles of our children, we will be faced with a generation
that fails to achieve the same life expectancy of their
parents," Paul Hartman, director of advocacy for the American
Heart Association, told AP.

Ms. Evans competed in three Olympics and won four individual
gold medals.  She has been active in New York City's bid to host
the 2012 Summer Olympics.  She said she began swimming at age 18
months and said the sport not only led her to Olympic stardom,
it also made her healthy as a child and boosted her self-esteem
and confidence.

The goal of Active-8 Kids is not to develop world-class
athletes, Evans and Esche said.  "If it happens, that is
wonderful," Evans told The Associated Press. "The only objective
is to get kids to eat healthy and live well and get out there
and exercise. We want kids out there to take care of themselves.
We want them to learn to pick up an orange instead of a bag of

Both Esche and Evans were Pataki's guests at the state Capitol
as the governor gave his 2005 State of the State address Jan. 5.
Details of how Active-8 Kids will work and how much funding
Pataki will propose for it are still being worked out, aides to
the governor and officials at the state Health Department told

NORTH DAKOTA: Lawmakers Push For Anti-Obesity Suit Legislature
North Dakota representative Ron Iverson, R-Fargo, expressed his
support for a proposal to stop obesity lawsuits against
restaurants and food makers, the Associated Press reports.

Rep. Iverson is a sponsor of legislation, introduced by Rep. Kim
Koppelman, R-West Fargo, that would help prevent lawsuits
related to a persons' weight problem or obesity-related health
condition from being filed against food makers, restaurants,
advertisers and even industry trade associations.

"We cannot, and we should not, hold Burger King, McDonald's .
and Taco Bell, restaurants that serve food that people like to
eat, responsible," the portly lawmaker told AP.  "The reason I'm
fat is because I make bad food choices, and I don't exercise."

He added that restaurants "do not force me to pay for their
product, and they do not force me to eat it. I do that."  Rep.
Koppelman agreed, telling AP "We need to have personal
responsibility for our actions, and we don't want to create an
environment in North Dakota where people are suing others for
their own actions."

Rep. Koppelman further stated that 14 states have passed similar
proposals. His legislation would also protect farmers and
ranchers from obesity-related lawsuits, he said. The full House
will vote on the legislation later.

Paula Grosinger, director of the North Dakota Trial Lawyers'
Association, called the legislation a knee-jerk reaction to a
New York lawsuit that was later dismissed. The legislation would
give the food industry legal protection that other industries do
not have, Grosinger said.  "Our juries are capable of making
these decisions about the merits of a case," Grosinger told AP.

Bismarck attorney Jeff Weikum said if the legislation is
approved, defense lawyers will attempt to avoid liability by
connecting every food lawsuit to an obesity-related disease.

Iverson said the trial lawyers were attempting to protect their
business.  "We're taking bread out of their mouths," he told AP.

OSTEOTECH INC.: Ex-Employees Settle SEC Insider Trading Charges
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint in the
U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey alleging
illegal insider trading by Charles Jannetti, 56, of Howell, New
Jersey, and Kevin Debbs, 40, of Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey,
former employees of Osteotech, Inc. (Osteotech). The
Commission's complaint alleges that Jannetti and Debbs violated
Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 (Securities Act),
and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
(Exchange Act) and Rule 10b-5 thereunder when they sold shares
of Osteotech while in possession of material, nonpublic

Specifically, the Commission's complaint alleges that that on
September 26 and 27, 2002, Jannetti and Debbs learned about
contamination problems at Osteotech's production facilities.
While in possession of this material, nonpublic information,
Debbs and Jannetti sold their entire positions in Osteotech
stock, illegally avoiding the losses they would have incurred
had the information been public. On September 30, 2002,
once Osteotech disclosed the contamination problems and  the
resulting shut down of its last remaining production facility,
Osteotech's stock price  fell from $9.47 per share on the
previous day to $5.16 per share. Accordingly, Jannetti and Debbs
avoided losses of $9,040 and $12,920 by selling when they did.

Mr. Jannetti and Mr. Debbs have agreed to a resolution of this
matter, subject to the Court's approval. Without admitting or
denying any of the factual allegations contained in the
Commission's complaint, both defendants have consented to the
relief sought in the Commission's complaint: injunctions barring
each of them from future violations of Section 17(a) of the
Securities Act, and Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule
10b-5 thereunder disgorgement of losses avoided, plus
prejudgment interest and a one time civil penalty in an amount
equal to the disgorgement amount. In his consent, Jannetti
agreed to pay $18,564.01, comprised of $9,040 in disgorgement of
avoided losses, plus $484.01 in prejudgment interest, and a
civil penalty in the amount of $9,040. In his consent, Debbs
agreed to pay $26,759.51, comprised of $12,920 in disgorgement
of his avoided losses, plus $919.51 in prejudgment interest, and
a civil penalty in the amount of $12,920. The Commission
acknowledges the assistance of the NASD in this investigation.
The action is titled, SEC v. Charles E. Jannetti and Kevin
Debbs, 05 Civ. 308 (SRC) D.N.J.] (LR-19037).

QUALITY DISTRIBUTION: Reaches Pact For Stock, Derivative Suits
Quality Distribution, Inc. (Nasdaq: QLTY) has signed Memoranda
of Understanding to settle two shareholder class action lawsuits
and a shareholder derivative demand stemming from the Company's
disclosure of irregularities at Power Purchasing, Inc. ("PPI"),
a non-core subsidiary, on February 2, 2004.

"We are grateful to have this litigation behind us," said Thomas
L. Finkbiner, President and Chief Executive Officer. "This
allows us to continue to focus on growing and strengthening our
business and building value for our shareholders."

The two previously disclosed class action lawsuits, Meigs v.
Quality Distribution, Inc., et al., pending in the United States
District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa
Division (the "Federal Action"), and Steamfitters Local 449
Pension & Retirement Security Funds v. Quality Distribution,
Inc., et al., pending in the Circuit Court of the Thirteenth
Judicial Circuit in and for Hillsborough County, Florida (the
"State Action"), were each filed on behalf of a putative class
of shareholders who allegedly purchased the Company's common
stock traceable to its November 6, 2003 initial public offering.

In exchange for broad releases from all claims that were or
could have been asserted by shareholders in respect of QDI
shares, and to eliminate the burden and expense of further
litigation, the Company and its primary directors' and officers'
liability insurer, on behalf of all defendants, have agreed to
pay the class $8,150,000, of which $5,875,000 would be paid
directly by the insurer and the balance of $2,275,000 would be
paid by the Company. The Company has also agreed to pay the
State Action Plaintiffs' attorneys' fees and expenses in an
amount not to exceed $600,000. The Company will record a pre-tax
charge of $2.875 million in the fourth quarter for these

The settlements are contingent on several factors, including
approval by both the state and federal courts. No aspect of the
settlements constitutes an admission or finding of wrongful
conduct, acts or omissions.

In addition, the Company announced the settlement of lawsuits
arising out of its orange juice business, which terminated in
2004. The previously disclosed lawsuits relating to the venture

     (1) Quality Food Grade Carriers, Inc., et al. v. Quality
         Carriers, Inc., et al., Case No. 04- 4515-B, Circuit
         Court, Hillsborough County, Florida ("Hillsborough I");

     (2) Quality Food Grade Carriers, Inc., et al. v. Leon
         Black, et al., Case No. 04- 9491-A, Circuit Court,
         Hillsborough County, Florida ("Hillsborough II");

     (3) Quality Food Grade Carriers, Inc., et al. v. Tropicana
         Products, Inc., et al., Case No. 53-2004CA-004215,
         Circuit Court, Polk County, Florida ("Polk County");

     (4) Quality Distribution, Inc. and Quality Carriers, Inc.
         v. Stephen Douglas Vaughan, Quality Food Grade
         Carriers, Inc., and Quality Fuel Control, Inc.,
         Adversary Proceeding No. 04-0687, filed by the Company
         and Quality Carriers, Inc. ("QCI"), the Company's
         wholly owned subsidiary, in the United States
         Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida,
         Tampa Division ("Adversary Proceeding").

Under the settlement:

     (i) The plaintiffs, Quality Food Grade Carriers, Inc.
         ("QFGC") and Quality Fuel Control, Inc. ("QFC"), have
         dismissed Polk County with prejudice as to all
         defendants, and the Company will not seek sanctions
         against plaintiffs and their attorney on the Company's
         motion for sanctions pursuant to section 57.105,
         Florida Statutes;

    (ii) The plaintiffs, QFGC and QFC, have dismissed
         Hillsborough II with prejudice as to all defendants,
         and the Company will not seek sanctions against
         plaintiffs and their attorney on the Company's motion
         for sanctions pursuant to section 57.105, Florida

   (iii) QFGC, QFC and Stephen Douglas Vaughan ("Vaughan") have
         consented to entry of final judgment in favor of the
         Company and QCI in the Adversary Proceeding converting
         the existing temporary injunction against QFGC, QFC and
         Vaughan into a permanent injunction, and the Company
         will dismiss the remaining counts of the Complaint in
         the Adversary Proceeding without prejudice.

The remaining lawsuit, Hillsborough I, is limited to a single
claim by QFC against QCI alleging that QCI breached a contract
with QFC. The Company believes this claim to be without merit,
will defend the suit vigorously and will press certain

Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, Quality Distribution operates
approximately 3,500 tractors and 8,250 trailers through Quality
Carriers, Inc., and TransPlastics, a division of Quality
Carriers. The Company also provides other bulk transportation
services, including tank cleaning and freight brokerage. Quality
Distribution is an American Chemistry Council Responsible Care
Partner and is a core carrier for many of the Fortune 500
companies who are engaged in chemical production and processing.

For more details, contact Thomas L. Finkbiner, President and
Chief Executive Officer by Phone: 800-282-2031, ext. 7361.

SIDLEY AUSTIN: EEOC Launches Age Discrimination Lawsuit in IL
In a case that according to legal experts could have major
ramifications for the legal business, the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission has charged Sidley Austin Brown & Wood,
one of the nation's largest law firms with age discrimination,
contending that it violated the law by forcing out older
partners, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The first of its kind against a law firm, the class-action
lawsuit alleges that the law firm has maintained an illegal
"age-based retirement policy" since at least 1978 and that the
firm arbitrarily forced out 32 partners in 1999.

Based in Chicago, Sidley has 1,500 lawyers in a dozen cities
including Los Angeles spread over three continents and
represents a number of large corporations, including Tribune
Co., the parent company of the Los Angeles Times.

Historically, law firm partnerships have not been subject to
discrimination laws because partners, as the co-owners of an
enterprise, were considered employers.

However, John C. Hendrickson, the EEOC's regional attorney in
Chicago, this case is different, since they are alleging that
the cashiered lawyers were partners in name only because they
had no voice in the firm's management including hiring, firing
and salary decisions. Consequently, the lawyers were "employees"
entitled to the protections of the Age Discrimination in
Employment Act.

New York University law professor Stephen Gillers said he
thought a suit of this type was inevitable because of the
massive change over the last quarter of a century in the way law
firms operate. Mr. Gillers adds, in the old days, attorneys
frequently would join a firm after law school and stay for their
entire careers. He points out, "Partnership was for life.. That
is no longer true," as firms dump lawyers in an effort to become
more profitable and lawyers jump from firm to firm and "The glue
is gone in both directions."

Another legal expert, Kimberly Yuracko, who teaches employment
law at Northwestern Law School in Chicago, said the case had
"huge ramifications" for lawyers and other professionals such as
accountants particularly as law firms grew bigger and became
more like corporations than partnerships. Ultimately, she said,
the case will turn on the real way Sidley operated, not the
titles the individual lawyers held.

The investigation began in the aftermath of major changes at
Sidley. According to the suit filed in federal district court,
the firm had always had a mandatory retirement age of 65. Then
in 1999, 32 lawyers all over the age of 40 were told that their
status was being downgraded from "partner" to "special counsel"
or "counsel" and their pay reduced by about 10%. They also were
informed that they would soon have to leave the firm.

The EEOC actually began an investigation into the alleged age
discrimination and, in 2001, subpoenaed Sidley records,
thereafter. The firm resisted, and the issue eventually made its
way to the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.

That court said the EEOC was entitled to records critical to
determining whether the lawyers should have been protected under
age-discrimination law, but it made no judgment on the merits of
the case. Judge Richard Posner, writing for a unanimous three-
judge panel, rejected Sidley's argument that the law did not
apply to any matters involving "partners." Judge Posner said he
was particularly unconvinced by "Sidley's contention that since
the executive committee exercises its absolute power by virtue
of delegation by the entire partnership in the partnership
agreement, we should treat the entire partnership as if it
rather than the executive committee were directing the firm.
That would be like saying that if the people elect a person to
be dictator for life, the government is a democracy rather than
a dictatorship."

If the suit succeeds, the firm could be required to change its
policies requiring mandatory retirement, be ordered to reinstate
some of the lawyers or make back-payments that could cost
millions, Mr. Hendrickson said.

UNITED STATES: Numerous Lawsuits Challenge Large Mutual Funds
Several lawsuits have been filed against mutual funds,
contending that they did not claim money due their investors
from settlements of securities class-action lawsuits, the New
York Times reports.

Filed in federal courts across the country, the suits accuse
more than 40 fund managers, including Merrill Lynch, Vanguard,
Wells Fargo, Janus and Dreyfus, of violating their fiduciary
duty to their investors by failing to file claims for money from
settlements of shareholder lawsuits.

According to Randall Pulliam, a lawyer at Baron & Budd, over the
past five years, shareholders won settlements valued at $12.5
billion from more than 100 companies, including Lucent
Technologies, Nike, PeopleSoft and Rite Aid, among others. The
lawsuits contend that mutual funds, eligible for a portion of
that amount left $2 billion on the table. Furthermore, Mr.
Pulliam, a lawyer at the Dallas firm that filed the complaints
last week, said, "These funds are failing to actually go out and
capture that money. They have no valid excuse not to file proofs
of claims." However, several firms stated that the lawsuits had
their facts wrong, and that when appropriate, the firms did file
claims to recover money for their investors.

Nevertheless, observers point out that the litigation may yet
prove to be another potential embarrassment for the mutual fund
industry, which is still recovering from recent scandals at some
funds over improper trading practices, such as market timing.
Furthermore, observers noted that the lawsuits turn on some
basic questions: whether the mutual fund held shares in a
company that settled a securities lawsuit, whether the mutual
fund had an obligation to claim its share of settlement money on
behalf of its investors and, if so, whether the specific fund
filed such a claim.

Typically when a company settles a shareholder class-action
suit, the money to compensate investors is set aside in an
escrow account or trust. Shareholders file proofs of claim with
an administrator, who distributes the money based on how many
shares each applicant had during the relevant period -- the
duration of an accounting fraud, for example.

Vanguard, for one, contends that it indeed filed such claims on
behalf of its investors. John Woerth, a spokesman for Vanguard
said, "A preliminary review of the named settlements leads us to
believe that in instances where, first, we held the security
and, second, we were eligible for recovery, we filed proofs of
claim. As a result we believe the complaint is without merit."

Representatives of Dreyfus and Merrill Lynch both responded that
their funds regularly file claims on behalf of their investors
and that they considered the complaints without merit. On the
other hand, representatives for Janus and Wells Fargo declined
to comment.

WAFFLE HOUSE: Customers Lodge Race Discrimination Lawsuit in VA
Five customers initiated a discrimination lawsuit against a
Waffle House restaurant in Chesapeake and its parent company in
federal court for racial discrimination, alleging that they
intentionally were served grits laced with dead flies, the
Virginian Pilot reports.

The patrons also claim that they were ignored by the staff upon
entering the restaurant on Western Branch Boulevard and were
harassed when they complained about the flies.

In a news conference in Norfolk, customer Kaamilah Gilyard, 23,
said that the restaurant served them food that "they would not
feed to their dog. We were completely humiliated and we felt
very degraded," and adds, "I've never felt like that in my

One of four filed against the Georgia-based chain in Virginia,
Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina, the lawsuit is claiming a
pattern of discrimination and violations of federal civil-rights
laws exist at the restaurants. It joins 20 others already
pending against Waffle House including cases in Fredericksburg
and Richmond, both of which were filed in September.

In a statement, Waffle House denied the allegations, saying the
company has "no tolerance for discrimination in our restaurants"
and that employees are trained "to treat all customers equally."
The company even emphasized that two of the discrimination
lawsuits have ended with juries finding in favor of Waffle

The lawsuit filed in federal court in Norfolk seeks injunctions
against Waffle House to cease engaging in discriminatory conduct
and prevent future occurrences as well as seeking unspecified
compensatory and punitive damages.

According to attorney John R. Erickson of Reed Smith in Falls
Church, "We want them to acknowledge that problems exist, and we
want them to do something about it."

The lawsuit concerns an incident that happened in August 2003
and involved five patrons who, at the time, ranged in age from
17 to 22. Two are black, two are Filipino and one is Hispanic.
Three of the five were residents of State College, Pa., and were
in town for a baby shower.

The lawsuit offered this account, upon entering the restaurant,
the customers were ignored by the all-white staff and therefore
were forced to seat themselves and clear their own table. When
the first plate of food arrived, it contained flies that were
"large, black, mixed into the white grits, and obviously
visible." When they complained, no explanations or apologies
were offered and the restaurant insisted that they pay for the
food, which they did not eat. When they refused, the staff
accused them of trying to walk out on the bill and called
police. The police officer at first ordered them to pay for the
meal, but after a call to a magistrate, the group was permitted
to leave.

The lawsuits are being coordinated by the Washington Lawyers'
Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs and are supported
by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored
People. The lawyers' committee has set up a toll free hot line,
(800) 575-4635, for Waffle House customers to report

The suits are similar to previous complaints against the Cracker
Barrel and Denny's restaurant chains, which were accused of
treating black customers unfairly. Cracker Barrel reached a
settlement with the Justice Department last year, agreeing to
make changes in its operations but admitting no wrongdoing and
paying no fine. Denny's reached a $54 million settlement in a
class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination against blacks in

WASHINGTON: To Join State Farm Nationwide Salvaged Vehicles Pact
Hundreds of Washington consumers who purchased used cars after
June 1, 1997 may be eligible for refunds as the result of a
multi-state settlement with State Farm Mutual Insurance Company,
state Attorney General Rob McKenna announced in a statement.

State Farm has agreed to a $40 million nationwide consumer
compensation program after it informed state attorneys general
that some vehicles the company handled as total losses do not
have correct titles. Those vehicles-either salvaged, damaged,
rebuilt, reconstructed, or otherwise totaled-should have
"branded titles," indicating the vehicle's history. State Farm
records show as many as 2.4 million vehicles may have required
"branded titles."

An estimated 30,000 consumers nationwide may be eligible for
payments ranging from about $400 to $10,000, depending on the
current average value of their vehicles and the number of
consumers who participate in the program. The states believe
most payments are likely to range from $800 to $1850.

Under the agreement, State Farm will work with state departments
of motor vehicles in the coming months to determine in each
state the specific vehicles which require a branded title. The
owners of those vehicles will receive a letter from the
Washington Attorney General's office with a claim form to return
to an independent claims administrator company. After all claims
are in, the amount each consumer will receive will be finalized
and checks mailed later this year or early 2006.

To be eligible for compensation, a consumer must be the
registered owner of the vehicle, but not at the time it was
declared a total loss. Also, the consumer must have been unaware
that their vehicle was dubbed a total loss when they purchased
it. The eligibility requirements will be listed in the claim
form letter mailed to consumers. Regardless of whether you
complete a claim form, State Farm will notify the Washington
State Department of Motor Vehicles that your vehicle needs a
branded title.

The final amounts received by consumers will be based on the
current average retail value of the vehicle. For example, owners
of vehicles worth between $1,000 and $2,000 will receive $600;
owners of vehicles worth between $5,000 and $6,000 will receive
$1,400; owners of vehicles worth between $10,000 and $11,000
will receive $3,000.

State Farm is also paying $1 million to all the state
participants for consumer education, future consumer litigation,
and attorney fees and costs. Washington will receive $15,000.

                   New Securities Fraud Cases

AMERICAN BUSINESS: Berger & Montague Files Securities Suit in PA
The law firm of Berger & Montague, P.C. and the Guiliano Law
Firm initiated a securities class action complaint in the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
against American Business Financial Services, Inc. ("ABFI" or
the "Company") (NASDAQ: ABFI) and certain of its officers and
directors. This suit asserts claims on behalf of purchasers of
ABFI's notes, subordinated money market notes, subordinated debt
securities or subordinated debentures (the "Notes") purchased
during the period January 18, 2002 - December 23, 2004 (the
"Class Period").

The complaint charges ABFI and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Act of 1933. ABFI's
principal business is to originate, sell and service home equity
and purchase money mortgage loans secured by residences.

The complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period,
defendants issued registration statements and prospectuses
containing untrue statements and material omissions concerning
the operations and financial results of the Company. In November
- December of 2004 with respect to some or all of the notes,
ABFI stopped paying principal or interest on maturity and
stopped honoring checks written on ABFI money market accounts.

On December 23, 2004, the Company issued a press release stating
in part that the Company currently is unable to make any
payments on Notes as they become due. The press release also
stated that the Company "may seek protection under the federal
bankruptcy laws or may be forced into involuntary bankruptcy."
Members of the class have suffered damage as a result with their
Notes declining materially in value or becoming worthless.

For more details, contact the law firm of Berger & Montague,
P.C. by E-mail: investorprotect@bm.net or the Guiliano Law Firm
by E-mail: contact@stockbrokerfraud.com.

CONEXANT SYSTEMS: Shepherd Finkelman Files Securities Suit in NJ
The law firm of Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLC
initiated a lawsuit seeking class action status in the United
States District Court for the District of New Jersey on behalf
of all persons (the "Class") who purchased the securities of
Conexant Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: CNXT)("Conexant" or the
"Company") during the period November 3, 2003 through November
4, 2004 (the "Class Period"). The Complaint names Conexant
Systems, Inc., Dwight W. Decker and Armando Geday as Defendants.

The Complaint alleges that, during the Class Period, Defendants
violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Act of 1934
and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder. Specifically, the
Complaint alleges that, during the Class Period, the Company
issued a series of false and misleading statements regarding its
merger with GlobespanVirata, stating that the merged Company
would deliver stronger financial performance and create more
value for its shareholders, customers and employees than either
Conexant or GlobespanVirata could if they continued operating
independently. In addition, the Complaint alleges that,
throughout the Class Period, Defendants issued a series of false
and misleading statements regarding its wireless local area
network ("WLAN") business, which was acquired by GlobespanVirata
from Intersil in August, 2003, the manner in which that business
unit had been integrated into the Company and its ability to
contribute to Company earnings. The Complaint alleges that, in
actuality, the merger of Conexant and GlobespanVirata was not
successful and, throughout the Class Period, the Company was
facing severe integration problems with respect to the combined
companies' parallel DSL and wireless technology offerings, as
well as their sales and administrative functions. The Complaint
also alleges that the Company failed to properly integrate the
WLAN business unit and made material misrepresentations
regarding this business unit because, during the Class Period,
Defendants had effectively ceased working upon the integration
of the WLAN business unit -- which was a critical component of
the rationale for the merger.

On November 4, 2004, Conexant released its financial and
operational results for the fourth quarter ended October 1,
2004, reporting that its "fourth fiscal quarter 2004 revenues of
$213.1 million decreased 20 percent from the third fiscal
quarter revenues of $267.6 million," and stating that
"'Conexant's sequential decline in revenues to $213.1 million in
the fourth fiscal quarter was largely due to excess channel
inventory that resulted from lower-than-expected customer
demand....'" On this news, Conexant stock fell 10% on November
5, 2004. This marked fall in stock price followed a decline in
Conexant's stock price of over 43% on July 6, 2004, when the
Company announced similarly disappointing performance in the
third quarter of 2004.

For more details, contact James E. Miller, Esq. or James C.
Shah, Esq. by Phone: 866/540-5505 or 877/891-9880 or by E-mail:
jmiller@classactioncounsel.com or jshah@classactioncounsel.com.

KRISPY KREME: Alfred G. Yates Lodges Securities Suit in M.D. NC
The Law Office of Alfred G. Yates Jr., PC has initiated a class
action lawsuit on behalf of all purchasers of the common stock
of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc. ("Krispy Kreme" or the
"Company") (NYSE:KKD) between May 7, 2004, and January 4, 2005,
inclusive, (the "Class Period").

The action, case number 05-CV-00042, is pending in the United
States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina
against defendants Krispy Kreme, Scott Livengood (Chairman,
President and CEO), and Michael Phalen (CFO).

The complaint alleges that Krispy Kreme is a specialty retailer
of doughnuts and charges Krispy Kreme and certain of its
officers and directors with violating the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934. The complaint alleges that, during the Class
Period, Krispy Kreme misrepresented its financial condition to
the investing public. The complaint further charges that Company
improperly accounted for its reacquisition of certain of its
franchisees, thereby artificially inflating its pre-tax income
for fiscal year 2004 by as much as $8.1 million.

In a press release dated January 4, 2005, the last day of the
Class Period, the Company conceded that it would have to make
$8.1 million in write-downs. The day prior to the release, the
Company stock traded at an intra-day high of almost $13.00 per
share. On the day after the release, KKD stock traded at an
intra-day low of $9.36 per share, down a full twenty-eight
percent (28%) from its intra-day high just two days earlier.

For more details, contact, Alfred G. Yates, Jr. by Phone:
1-800-391-5164 or by E-mail: yateslaw@aol.com.

TASER INTERNATIONAL: Spector Roseman Files Securities Suit in AZ
The law firm of Spector, Roseman & Kodroff, P.C. initiated a
securities class action lawsuit in the United States District
Court for the District of Arizona on behalf of purchasers of the
common stock of Taser International, Inc. ("Taser" or the
"Company") (Nasdaq: TASR) between October 18, 2004 through
January 6, 2005, inclusive (the "Class Period") against Taser
and certain officers and directors of the Company.

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 between October 18, 2004 and
January 6, 2005, thereby artificially inflating the price of
Taser securities. Throughout the Class Period defendants issued
numerous statements describing the safety of its products which
were materially false and misleading because they failed to
disclose and/or misrepresented the following adverse facts,
among others:

     (1) that the Company's Taser M26 and X26 are unsafe;

     (2) that defendants knew or recklessly disregarded the fact
         that the Company's Taser M26 and X26 have safety

     (3) that defendants knew or recklessly disregarded the fact
         that the Company's M26s and X26s severe safety concerns
         were likely to limit the long term marketability of the
         Taser M26 and X26; and

     (4) that the defendants failed to warn the public of the
         potential harm of the Company's M26 and X26, in order
         to preserve the Company's profits from the "stun" guns.

On January 6, 2005, after the market closed, the Company issued
a press release entitled "Taser International, Inc. Cooperates
with SEC Informal Inquiry." In the press release, the Company
disclosed that the Securities and Exchange Commission is
beginning an inquiry into claims and statements made by Taser on
the safety of its stun guns. Further, as stated in the press
release, the SEC is also looking into an end of year order
totaling $1.5 million.

For more details, contact Robert M. Roseman by Phone:
888-844-5862 or by E-mail: classaction@srk-law.com or visit
their Web site: http://www.srk-law.com.

UNITEDGLOBALCOM: Faruqi & Faruqi Lodges Stock Fraud Suit in DE
The law firm of Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP initiated a class action
lawsuit in the Court of Chancery in the State of Delaware, on
behalf of its client and all persons or institutions who held
shares of UnitedGlobalCom, Inc. ("UnitedGlobal" or the
"Company") (Nasdaq:UCOMA) challenging the fairness of the recent
merger proposal made by Liberty Media International, Inc.
("Liberty Media"), which owns approximately 53% of
UnitedGlobal's outstanding common stock.

Among other things, plaintiff's Complaint alleges that the
consideration to be paid to Class members in the transaction is
unconscionable and unfair and grossly inadequate because the
intrinsic value of UnitedGlobal's common stock is materially in
excess of the amount offered given the stock's current trading
price and the Company's prospects for future growth and
earnings. Additionally, the Complaint alleges defendants have
breached their duty of loyalty to UnitedGlobal stockholders by
using their control of UnitedGlobal to force plaintiff and the
Class to exchange their equity interest in UnitedGlobal at an
unfair price, and deprive UnitedGlobal's public shareholders of
maximum value to which they are entitled. The Complaint alleges
further that defendants have also breached their duties of
loyalty and due care by not taking adequate measures to ensure
that the interests of UnitedGlobal's public shareholders are
properly protected from overreaching.

For more details, contact Anthony Vozzolo, Esq. of Faruqi &
Faruqi, LLP by Phone: (877) 247-4292 or (212) 983-9330 by E-
mail: Avozzolo@faruqilaw.com.

UNITEDGLOBAL INC.: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Stock Suit in DE
The law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a class
action lawsuit, challenging the fairness of the recent merger
proposal made by Liberty Media International, Inc. ("Liberty
Media"), in the Court of Chancery in the State of Delaware on
behalf of all who held shares of UnitedGlobalCom, Inc.
("UnitedGlobal" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: UCOMA).

The complaint alleges that on January 18, 2005, UnitedGlobal
announced that Liberty Media has made a proposal to acquire all
of the Company's common stock that it does not already own at a
price of approximately $3.65 billion (the "Buyout" or "Buyout
Proposal"). UnitedGlobal shareholders would receive 0.2155
shares of Liberty Global Inc., the successor entity, for each
share of UnitedGlobal, and investors in Liberty Media would get
one share of Liberty Global Inc. for each share they hold.
Liberty Media also offered a cash alternative of $9.58 per share
UnitedGlobal stock, limited to 20% of the total offer. According
to the complaint, the consideration offered in the Buyout is
wholly inadequate and fails to offer fair value to the Company's
shareholders for their equity interests in UnitedGlobal. In
fact, the Company's stock traded in excess of the Buyout price
as recently as the day prior to the announcement, and has been
trading at or over that price for at least the past month.
Moreover, the complaint alleges that Liberty Media had timed the
proposal to freeze out UnitedGlobal's public shareholders in
order to capture for itself UnitedGlobal's future potential
without paying an adequate or fair price to the Company's public
shareholders and that Liberty Media timed the announcement of
the proposed buyout to place an artificial lid on the market
price of UnitedGlobal's stock so that the market would not
reflect UnitedGlobal's improving potential, thereby purporting
to justify an unreasonably low price.

For more details, contact Marc A. Topaz, Esq. or Darren J.
Check, Esq. of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP by Phone:
1-888-299-7706 or 1-610-667-7706 or by E-mail:


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


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to be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The CAR subscription rate is $575 for six months delivered via
e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for members of the same
firm for the term of the initial subscription or balance thereof
are $25 each.  For subscription information, contact Christopher
Beard at 240/629-3300.

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