/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/990305.MBX              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

               Friday, March 5, 1999, Vol. 1, No. 21


AFRO-AMERICAN FARMERS: Discrimination Settlement Still Under Fire
AMERICAN BANKNOTE: Bernstein Litowitz Files Complaint in New York
AT&T WIRELESS: Comment Favoring Full Minute Billing Practice
BENNETT FUNDING: Mistrial Declared on Major Criminal Counts
CHEVRON CORP.: Settles Kennedy Heights Pollution Litigation

ELBIT, LTD.: Warrantholders Ask for Class Action in Tel Aviv
GREENLAND INUITS: Demanding Compensation for Displaced Homes
HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: Plaintiffs Say Fund Lacks Framework
JDA SOFTWARE: States Intention to Defend "Copycat" Lawsuits
MINNESOTA PRISIONS: Correction Workers File Discrimination Suit

ORBITAL SCIENCES: Mehri Malkin Files Complaint in Virginia
PRIMADONNA RESORTS: Shareholder Sues to Block MGM Grand Merger
SMART CHOICE: Milberg Weiss Files Complaint in Florida
WORLD ACCESS: Wechsler Harwood Files Complaint in Georgia
Y2K LITIGATION: Semiconductor Lobbying Group Pushing Legislation


AFRO-AMERICAN FARMERS: Discrimination Settlement Still Under Fire
Dr. Joseph E. Lowery, former president of the Southern Christian
Leadership Council, says the USDA's proposed discrimination
settlement with black farmers needs strengthening.  Lowery,
chairman of the Black Leadership Forum Inc., proposed several
changes Tuesday before U.S. Disctrict Judge Paul Friedman in  
Washington.  Lowery spoke on behalf of 13 farm advocacy groups.

Lowery hailed the plan but said eligibility for the funds isn't
clear enough.  He also called for stronger guarantees that loans
owed to the government would be forgiven, and assurances that
rights of appeal by farmers who participate in the settlement
will not be denied.  

Some 13,000 farmers have already signed up to participate in the
agreement, UPI indicates.

AMERICAN BANKNOTE: Bernstein Litowitz Files Complaint in New York
Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP, on January 26, 1999,
filed a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court
for the Southern District of New York, on behalf of all
purchasers of American  Bank Note Holographics Inc. (NYSE:ABH)
common stock during the period July 14, 1998 through January 15,
1999 inclusive against American Bank Note and certain officers
and  directors of the Company.

The complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 11 and 15
of the Securities Act of 1933 and Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by making material
misrepresentations in the Registration Statement and Prospectus
that was filed with the SEC and distributed to investors in  
connection with the initial public offering ("IPO") on July 14,
1998.  Pursuant to the IPO, American Bank Note sold more than
13.6 million shares of common stock to investors, realizing
proceeds of more than $106 million. On January 19, 1998, prior to
the opening of the market, the Company announced that (i)  
sales and net income for the second and third quarters of 1998 --
the Company's entire history as a public company -- had been
materially overstated; (ii) as a  result of these accounting
misstatements, the Company would restate its publicly reported
results for the second and third quarters.  The Company also  
announced that it had retained an outside law firm and its
outside auditors to conduct an investigation into the
misstatements, and that the results of the investigation "could
impact future results of operations."  Additionally, the Company
announced that, as a result of its improper accounting practices,  
revenues and net income for the fourth quarter of 1998 would be
"significantly lower" than that of the fourth quarter of 1997.
Following these disclosures, the trading price of the stock
dropped from approximately $15 to less than $5 per share.

AT&T WIRELESS: Comment Favoring Full Minute Billing Practice
"If you buy a Big Mac and only eat half of it, you're not
entitled to a refund," Brian Adamik, an analyst at The Yankee
Group, is quoted as saying in the Arizona Republic, commenting on
AT&T Wireless' practice of billing customers for a full minute
even if they're on the phone for part of a minute -- a billing
practice that has led to a class-action suit against AT&T.

BENNETT FUNDING: Mistrial Declared on Major Criminal Counts
Gail Appleson, a Law Correspondent for Reuters, reports that a
mistrial was declared Tuesday on 53 key fraud and money
laundering charges against Bennett Funding Group's former chief
financial officer, who is accused of orchestrating one of the
biggest financial frauds in U.S. history.  While the federal jury
hearing the case against Patrick Bennett, 47, was deadlocked on
the majority of the charges, it did find the former financial  
officer guilty of seven lesser counts accusing him of obstructing
Securities  and Exchange Commission investigations and perjury.

The mistrial was a blow, Ms. Appleson said, to prosecutors as
every other defendant in the case, including Bennett's brother
Michael, pleaded guilty to charges relating to their role in the

Patrick Bennett, who then stood trial alone, broke down in tears
when he recently took the stand and admitted that he had lied to
the SEC to hide illegal business transactions.

Federal prosecutors said they would retry Bennett on the counts
that the jury could not decide.  Bennett faces a maximum possible
sentence of five years in  prison and a $250,000 fine on each of
the seven counts on which he was convicted.

Earlier Tuesday the jurors, who had been deliberating since Feb.
18, told Griesa that they could not reach an agreement on most of
the counts. This was the second time they reported an impasse.
They first reported a deadlock on Feb. 23, but Griesa asked them
to keep trying.  After receiving Tuesday's note, Griesa urged
them again to try to reach a verdict but not to keep deliberating
if they felt their efforts were useless.  Although they returned
to deliberations, they told him shortly afterwards their  
attempts were fruitless.  In their final note to the judge the
jurors said they realized the trial had been long and expensive
and they appreciated the judge's efforts to help them reach a
decision.  "However, after considering the court's appeal to try
once more to find some ground for agreement on the disputed
counts we have been unsuccessful," the jury said.

Bennett is accused of securities, bank and mail fraud, money
laundering, obstruction of justice and other charges in what the
federal prosecutors say was one of the biggest Ponzi, or pyramid,
schemes in U.S. history.  Prosecutors allege that Bennett turned
a staid equipment-leasing family business into a sham operation
that bilked more than 10,000 investors -- mostly retirees -- out
of some $700 million.  Bennett Funding of Syracuse, N.Y., founded
by the defendant's father, filed for bankruptcy in 1996 after  
being sued by securities regulators.  The fraud extended to 46
states, with the majority of victims living in New York, New
Jersey and Florida.

Richard Breeden, former Securities and Exchange Commission
chairman, is serving as the court-appointed trustee for the
bankrupt Bennett companies and is trying to recover money for

CHEVRON CORP.: Settles Kennedy Heights Pollution Litigation
Chevron Corp. announced that the Kennedy Heights lawsuit is
expected to end without another trial, it was announced today by
Mickey Mills, the Special  Master appointed by U.S. District
Judge David Hittner, on behalf of both parties, Chevron Corp. and
the neighborhood residents.

"I've been working on this case for 20 months now, and based on
the law and the scientific evidence, there is no indication that
oil stored on the property in the 1920s ever posed a health or
safety risk to the Kennedy Heights residents,"  said Mills.
"There is no proof of harmful contamination in the soil, water,
or air in Kennedy Heights and no connection between the
residents' illnesses and  the use of the land for crude oil
storage 70 years ago. The drinking water for Kennedy Heights is,
and always has been, provided by the City of Houston and  test
results conducted by the City of Houston show that the drinking
water  there is safe."

His investigation also showed that race was never a factor in
Gulf-Chevron decisions about the Kennedy Heights property and its
residents, Mills said.  Gulf sold the land 30 years ago before
homes were built there to the now-defunct Log Development Co.,
which knew that the property had been used for crude oil storage
and determined that it was suitable for residential housing.

"Though Chevron has no legal obligation to do so," Mills added,
"to resolve this lengthy and expensive case, the company has
agreed to establish a settlement fund of approximately $8 million
for distribution to the plaintiffs.  I, as Special Master, will
allocate the settlement fund to the plaintiffs,  subject to the
Court's approval and the execution by the parties of final  
settlement documents.  The settlement fund is intended by Chevron
to help Kennedy Heights residents whose property may have
been devalued as a result of  media attention to the case."

The Settlement will separately provide partial reimbursement for
reasonable expenses incurred by plaintiffs' attorneys in the
investigation of their claims and costs associated with
administration of the settlements," said Mills, "but  Chevron
will not pay any money into the fund for any specific items of
damages  and no funds will be paid for attorney fees. The
plaintiffs' attorneys have agreed to waive their fees in order
for their clients to take advantage of this settlement

"To date, the parties combined have spent more than $30 million
in trying this case," said Mills. "It is a cage that resulted in
a mistrial while pending before U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt,
and without settlement, continuation of this lawsuit and its
likely appeals would increase both the costs for all  concerned
and the uncertainty for Kennedy Heights residents."

Mills said he experts the settlement to be finalized very soon.  

ELBIT, LTD.: Warrantholders Ask for Class Action in Tel Aviv
Elbit Ltd. (Nasdaq: ELBTF) announced that, further to its earlier
notice concerning a class action claim served on November 16,
1998 in the name of all holders of warrants (series 2) (the
"First Claim"), for non-disclosure of information concerning  
confidential negotiations for the sale of some of the assets of
Elscint Ltd. (a  subsidiary of Elbit Medical Imaging Ltd.), it
has received notice of a claim presented against it in the
District Court of Tel Aviv -- Jaffa (the "Second Claim") together
with an application that the above court will recognize the  
claim as a class suit.  To the best of Elbit's knowledge, the
Second Claim is based on grounds that are identical to the
grounds of the First Claim, and concern the same subject.

The Second Claim was presented in the name of all those who sold
the said warrants between August 1, 1998 and August 31, 1998.  
The lead plaintiffs seek monetary compensation, in the sum of
approximately $26,077, and damages for injury allegedly caused to
the entire group of claimants who sold warrants at a price lower
than that which would have been received had the said information  
been disclosed, which they allege amounts to about $1,623,000.

The notice states that the Second Claim was presented against the
Company, Elbit Medical Imaging Ltd., Elron Electronic Industries
Ltd., EMI and Mr. Emmanuel Gill.  Elbit, at this stage, cannot
assess the results of the Second Claim, nor its influence, if
any, on its business.  Elbit entirely rejects the claim presented
against it and will act resolutely to have it dismissed.  

GREENLAND INUITS: Demanding Compensation for Displaced Homes
>From Copenhagen, Denmark, the Associated Press reports that a
group of Greenland Inuits started a court case this week
demanding compensation for being forced out of their homes when
a U.S. air base was expanded.  The case stems from 1953, when the
United States expanded its air base at Thule.  The base in the
northwestern sector of the Danish territory was a key
installation of the Cold War.  Denmark allows the United States
to use Greenland, the world's largest island, for certain
military purposes.  But the American presence is resented by
many Inuits, the indigenous people of Greenland.

The group of 79 Inuits, calling themselves " Hingitaq 1953",
meaning "Outcasts 1953" in Greenlandic, are demanding $23.1
million in compensation for hunting grounds lost when they were
moved out of the area.

In another recent dispute involving the Thule air base, the AP
relates, the Danish government paid a total $15.5 million to
1,700 radiation-injured Danes and Greenlanders in 1995.  The
victims were local residents and workers cleaning up after a U.S.
bomber carrying atomic bombs crashed in 1968, spreading
radiation over a wide area.

HOLOCAUST VICTIMS: Plaintiffs Say Fund Lacks Framework
Joan Gralla, writing for Reuters from New York, reports that U.S.
lawyers for Holocaust victims, who are suing German banks and
industrial companies for compensation, soon plan to present the
German government with a framework for the country's proposed
billion-dollar Holocaust fund, according to one of the attorneys.
Michael Hausfeld, a partner with Washington-based Cohen,
Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, told Reuters that the new German fund,
which will be privately financed, could not be modelled after the
$1.25 billion fund set up last year by Swiss banks for Holocaust
victims because the issues were more complex.

While saying that German companies were showing good faith in the  
negotiations, Hausfeld took issue with the efforts so far because
no accord has yet been reached on any sort of global settlement
that would wrap up the U.S. lawsuits brought by former slave
labourers and other Holocaust victims, in  addition to other

The situation facing the German banks, insurers, industrial and
agricultural companies is far more complicated than the Swiss
accord, Hausfeld said.  "You can't roll everything into one fund.
There are different victims for the most part, different
liabilities, and clearly, for example, you've got extensions in
banking and insurance areas, which anticipate heirs, which you  
don't necessarily have in the slave labour area," Hausfeld said.   
"That's why in our view, nothing really can get done without the
framework," he said.  Then you can assess within the framework
the liability of each of those entities."  The process "is not
proceeding on there being any rational framework in which the
fund would compensate victims or terminate German firms exposure
in U.S. litigation," he said, in a telephone interview.

Hausfeld said he planned to present Germany's Chancellery
Minister, Bodo Hombach, who has taken part in the negotiations,
with the plaintiffs' proposal on March 9.

"We'll be happy to consider their proposals," Elan Steinberg,
World Jewish Congress executive director said, when asked about
the plaintiff attorneys' plans by Ms. Gralla.

JDA SOFTWARE: States Intention to Defend "Copycat" Lawsuits
JDA Software Group Inc. (NASDAQ:JDAS) said that is was aware that
a number of "copycat" lawsuits have been filed against it and
certain of its directors and officers in the wake of a lawsuit
styled as a shareholder class action which was filed  in January
of this year in U.S. District Court in Arizona.

These lawsuits contain allegations and arguments virtually
identical to the initial lawsuit.  The company expects that all
of these lawsuits will be consolidated into one action as has
been the case in dozens of other purported shareholder class
actions filed throughout the country against other companies.

The company believes that these actions against it and its
directors and officers are without merit and intends to defend
them vigorously.

MINNESOTA PRISIONS: Correction Workers File Discrimination Suit
Several African-American correction workers are filing a class-
action lawsuit against the Minnesota Department of Corrections,
reports United Press International.  They say there's long-
standing and widespread racism in the Department.  The suit seeks
monetary damages for past and present African-American employees
who have been treated unfairly.  It also asks for an immediate
injunction against further promotions until the Court installs a
fair and equal system.  The employees claim discrimination in
promotions, retention and treatment of African-American

ORBITAL SCIENCES: Mehri Malkin Files Complaint in Virginia
Mehri, Malkin & Ross PLLC commenced a class action lawsuit on
February 23, 1999, in the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Virginia on behalf of purchasers of the
common stock of Orbital Sciences Corp., from April 21,  1998
through February 16, 1999, inclusive.

The complaint charges Orbital, and certain of its officers and
directors, with violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as well as SEC Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder.

Specifically, the complaint alleges that, during the Class
Period, Orbital issued materially false and misleading financial
statements for its first three quarters of fiscal 1998, that
artificially inflated the Company's financial results through the
improper recognition of revenue in violation of generally  
accepted accounting principles.

The Complaint further alleges that defendants utilized their
inside information regarding the artificial inflation of the
Company's stock price to sell significant amounts of their own
personal Orbital holdings, with one member of upper management
selling over 99% of his personal Orbital holdings.  Proceeds from
insider sales exceeded $3 million during the class period.

PRIMADONNA RESORTS: Shareholder Sues to Block MGM Grand Merger
A Las Vegas man who owns 100 shares of Primadonna Resorts Inc.
common stock has filed a class action lawsuit that seeks to block
MGM Grand's announced $612 million stock and debt purchase of
Primadonna, reports Carri Geer, writing for the Las Vegas Review-
Journal.  Michael Shapiro, who is represented by attorney Mark
Albright, filed the complaint after hours Thursday in U.S.
District Court.  According to the lawsuit, Shapiro "seeks to
ensure that the class of minority shareholders have a fair
opportunity to vote their shares without any vote made by the
controlling shareholder."

Named as defendants are Primadonna Resorts; the company's
chairman and chief executive officer, Gary Primm, who owns 30.5
percent of Primadonna's outstanding common stock; other
controlling shareholders; and MGM Grand.

Sharei Yeshua Inc., a company that owns an unspecified amount of
Primadonna common stock, filed a lawsuit last month in Clark
County District Court that also seeks to stop the proposed
merger, the Journal notes.

The MGM Grand merger proposes to swap 0.33 shares of MGM Grand
stock for every Primadonna share, or $277 million, and MGM would
assume $335 million of Primadonna debt.

Nevada gaming regulators are scheduled to consider the deal after
a vote of shareholders this week, majority approval of which is

SMART CHOICE: Milberg Weiss Files Complaint in Florida
Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach commenced a class action
lawsuit on March 2, 1999,  in the United States District Court
for the Middle District of Florida on  behalf of all persons who
purchased the common stock of Smart Choice  Automotive, Inc.
(NASDAQ: SMCH), between April 15, 1998 and February 26, 1999,

The complaint charges Smart Choice and certain officers and
directors with violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 as well as Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder.  The complaint alleges that defendants issued a
series of materially false and misleading statements concerning
the Company's revenues and results of operations. Because of the  
issuance of a series of false and misleading statements, the
price of Smart Choice common stock was artificially inflated
during the Class Period.

WORLD ACCESS: Wechsler Harwood Files Complaint in Georgia
Wechsler Harwood Halebian & Feffer LLP commenced a class action
lawsuit was filed against World Access, Inc. (NASDAQ:WAXS) a  
telecommunications company, charging that the company pursued
an aggressive  takeover and merger policy in 1998, based upon
false and misleading statements that lured unsuspecting
shareholders.  The suit charges that World Access and its
management violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by
issuing false and misleading statements concerning the company's
operations thereby artificially inflating the company's stock

The complaint was filed in the United States District Court for
the Northern District of Georgia on behalf of all persons who
purchased or otherwise acquired the common stock of World Access,
Inc. between October 7, 1998, and February 11, 1999.

According to the complaint World Access, during the fourth
quarter of 1998, was desperate to complete its acquisition of
NACT Telecommunications, Telco Communications and Resurgens
Communications Group.  World Access made several public
statements to show a 60 percent increase in net income and
represent that it was well positioned to share in the tremendous
growth projected for the  global telecommunications market.  At
the same time, in November 1998 key World Access insiders,
including Controller Martin Kidder and Chief Financial Officer  
Mark Gergel sold more than 82,000 shares for $1.9 million.  On
January 5, 1999, in direct contrast to its earlier positive
statements World Access was forced to reveal that its 4th quarter
earnings per share were $.15 and not $.31 per share as expected:
World Access stock plummeted 42 percent.  Finally, on  February
11th the company stunned its investors by revealing that its
operations showed a net loss of $.22 per share.  On this news the
stock price of World Access fell an additional $3.75
per share.

Y2K LITIGATION: Semiconductor Lobbying Group Pushing Legislation
Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI) is
urging Congress to quickly pass critical 'Year 2000' (Y2K)
legislation now before the House and Senate.  The Year 2000
Readiness and Responsibility Act (H.R. 775), introduced last week
in the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. Tom Davis (R-VA),
David Dreier (R- CA) and others; and the Year 2000 Fairness and
Responsibility Act (S. 461), brought forward by Senators Orrin
Hatch (R-UT) and Diane Feinstein (D-CA), seek to encourage the
fair remediation -- rather than litigation -- of Y2K disputes.

The proposed legislation would set pre-trial guidelines for the
resolution of Y2K issues between plaintiffs and defendants,
providing the opportunity to address the grievance before the
filing of a lawsuit.  Additionally, defendants would be protected
against certain damages and liabilities if they have taken  
reasonable good-faith measures to prevent the Y2K problems in
question.  Both bills seek to "screen out" insubstantial lawsuits
while protecting the rights of plaintiffs who suffer real

"With the Year 2000 rapidly approaching, it is imperative that
our members be focused on helping to resolve potential Y2K
problems rather than having to worry about defending themselves
in a Y2K dispute," said Stanley T. Myers, president of SEMI.
"This legislation creates the necessary incentives for companies
to redouble their efforts to fix Y2K problems and guards them
against wasting time in defending frivolous lawsuits."

SEMI is working in cooperation with its members and their
customers in the semiconductor industry to provide guidance on
Y2K issues for our industry.  Based in Mountain View, Calif.,
SEMI is an international trade association serving more than
2,300 companies participating in the $65 billion semiconductor
and flat panel display equipment and materials markets.  SEMI  
maintains offices in Austin, Beijing, Boston, Brussels, Hsinchu,
Moscow, Seoul, Singapore, Tokyo and Washington, D.C.  More
information about SEMI's activities in this area, including links
to other organizations working on Y2K issues, may be found at
SEMI's website at http://www.semi.orgvia the Internet.  


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

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Princeton, NJ, and Beard
Group, Inc., Washington, DC.  Peter A. Chapman, Editor.

Copyright 1999.  All rights reserved.  ISSN XXXX-XXXX.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without prior
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herein is obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but is
not guaranteed.  

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