Quickly following in the foot steps of Oklahoma, three other states are contemplating criminal charges against MCI WorldCom. The Wall Street Journal reports that West Virginia is likely file civil charges accusing MCI of defrauding the state of tax revenue, while Oregon has filed a civil suit against MCI and its investment bankers. Alabama will do the same the Journal reports, while New Mexico is desperately trying to recoup its bond losses. What really has surprised me is that New York and California are sitting on the fences. As I had pointed out NY has been hit really hard by WorldCom’s fraud.
Meanwhile, Bernie Ebbers will surrender in Okalhoma on September 19, the Denver Post reports. I am quite impressed by the state level authorities taking action against corporate fraud. WIth a good reason – after all Washington DC has been completely compromised by lobbists and soft money.
“If you’ve got a void at the federal level, then the attorneys general will be moving in to fill the gap,” Tom Dresslar, a spokesman for Attorney General Bill Lockyer of California, the current president of the National Association of Attorneys General, told The Denver Post. The Post also quotes Russ Haven, legislative counsel with New York Public Interest Research Group, a nonprofit consumer protection group. Mr. Haven adds, “We need more police on the beat for corporate abuses and consumer rip-offs, not fewer investigations and actions, State officials “can an act as a prod to keep the feds on their toes,.”