CAR_Public/040930.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Thursday, September 30, 2004, Vol. 6, No. 194

                           Headlines

BEAZER HOMES: Pays $723T To Settle NV Suit V. Construction Flaws
BISYS GROUP: Faces Securities Fraud, Derivative Suits in S.D. NY
BLOCKBUSTER INC.: Quebec Court Dismisses Lawsuit V. Fee Policy
CARGILL INC.: Plaintiffs' Attorneys Disqualified in MN Bias Suit
COLORADO: Court Allows New Welfare Benefits System To Proceed

CRUISE SHIPS: High Court To Hear ADA Suit V. Foreign Cruise Ship
FORD MOTOR: Crown Victoria Car Sales Can Be Denied, Judge Rules
GARG DATA: SEC Lodges Lawsuit Over PurchasePro Financial Fraud
INTERSTATE BAKERIES: To Ask Court To Allow $18M Pact To Proceed
KENWORTH TRUCK: Recalls 203 Trucks Due To Crash, Accident Risk

MICHIGAN: 180,000 Music CDS Distributed To Schools, Other Groups
MICHIGAN: Latino, Hispanics Protest "PowerNomics" Plan
OHIO: Defendants in $15M Hedge Fund Scheme Settle SEC Action
ORION BUS: Recalls Orion Buses Due To Defective Locking Toggles
PLAYKIDS USA: Recalls 1,600 Baby Walkers Due To Injury Hazard

SALTON INC.: $280T Settlement Share Distributed To MI Foodbanks
SAUDER WOODWORKING: Recalls 300T TV/VCR Carts For Injury Hazard
SMARTIRE SYSTEMS: Recalls Tire Pressure Kits For Injury Hazard
SONUS NETWORKS: MA Superior Court Dismisses Securities Lawsuit
SPEAR & JACKSON: Shareholders Lodge Stock Fraud Suits in S.D. FL

SUNLINK HEALTH: Reaches Shareholder Derivative Action Settlement
TALX CORPORATION: SEC Files Suit V. Ex-Executive Assistant in MO
TELEBRANDS CORPORATION: Ordered To Stop False Ab Force Claims
TRACKER MARINE: Recalls Boat Trailers Because of Accident Hazard
UNITED STATES: Black Farmers To Be Included In Loan Committees

UNITED STATES: Legislators Contemplate Action on USDA Settlement
VOLVO CARS: Recalls 149,799 Cars, SUVs Because of Fire Hazard
WHITE SANDS: Reaches Settlement of Health Care Antitrust Charges

                    New Securities Fraud Cases

FANNIE MAE: Vianale & Vianale Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in DC
INTERACTIVECORP: Lerach Coughlin Lodges NY Securities Fraud Suit
NEW YORK: Marc Henzel Commences Securities Fraud Suit in E.D. NY
RED HAT: Marc Henzel Commences Securities Fraud Suit in E.D. NC
REMEC INC.: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in CA

REMEC INC.: Schatz & Nobel Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit CA
SALESFORCE.COM: Marc Henzel Lodges Securities Lawsuit in E.D. NC
STAAR SURGICAL: Marc Henzel Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NM
STONEPATH GROUP: Marc Henzel Lodges Securities Suit in E.D. PA
TECO ENERGY: Lerach Coughlin Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in FL

THORATEC CORPORATION: Marc Henzel Lodges Securities Suit in CA
TOMMY HILFIGER: Lerach Coughlin Lodges Securities Lawsuit in NY
TOMMY HILFIGER: Murray Frank Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NY
TOMMY HILFIGER: Schatz & Nobel Files Securities Fraud Suit in NY
TOMMY HILFIGER: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Securities Suit in NY

UNITED RENTALS: Schatz & Nobel Files Securities Fraud Suit in CT
UNITED RENTALS: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Securities Suit in CT

                           *********

BEAZER HOMES: Pays $723T To Settle NV Suit V. Construction Flaws
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Belle Esprit Homeowners Association recovered $723,000 for
common area construction defects in a settlement reached between
the association and the builder, according to the Miller Law
Firm. This settlement was put on the record today in the Nevada
District Court before The Honorable Allan R. Earl.

The association, located at Richmar Avenue and South Las Vegas
Boulevard, filed suit against Beazer Homes of Nevada and Beazer
Homes Holdings Corporation. The defects include significant
lighting problems in the common areas, serious asphalt cracks
and deterioration as well as large separations between the
concrete walls and the buildings. Common area street, curb and
gutter as well as plumbing defects were also alleged.

According to Thomas E. Miller, a California attorney who has
been admitted to practice in Nevada for this case, along with
James Jimmerson and Charles Odgers, of the Las Vegas based
Jimmerson Hansen Law Firm, "Cases that involve common area
claims and separate homeowner claims often settle at different
times. It is important for the association to receive the
necessary funds to repair dangerous and serious common area
defects for the benefit of all the homeowners."

Floyd Hale, Esq. was able to bring the parties to the table for
this portion of the case. The District Court has also granted
class action certification to a suit filed on behalf of 301
homeowners in this development for other serious construction
defects on November 12, 2003.


BISYS GROUP: Faces Securities Fraud, Derivative Suits in S.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
Bisys Group, Inc. faces seven putative securities class actions
and two derivative lawsuits, following its May 17, 2004
announcement regarding the restatement of its financial results.
The suits were filed against the Company and certain of its
former officers in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York.

The class action complaints purport to be brought on behalf of
all shareholders who purchased the Company's securities between
October 23, 2000 and May 17, 2004.  The suits generally assert
that the Company and certain of its officers allegedly violated
the federal securities laws in connection with the purported
issuance of false and misleading information concerning our
financial condition.  The class action complaints seek damages
in an unspecified amount against the Company.

The derivative complaints purport to be on the Company's behalf
and generally assert that certain officers and directors are
liable for alleged breaches of fiduciary duties, abuse of
control, gross mismanagement, waste, and unjust enrichment that
purportedly occurred between October 23, 2000 and the present.
The derivative complaints seek disgorgement, constructive trust,
and damages in an unspecified amount.


BLOCKBUSTER INC.: Quebec Court Dismisses Lawsuit V. Fee Policy
--------------------------------------------------------------
After hearing nearly two weeks of testimony in March, a Quebec
Superior Court now has ruled in favor of Blockbuster Inc. (NYSE:
BBI), dismissed a lawsuit objecting to Blockbuster's extended
viewing fee policy, and ordered the plaintiffs to reimburse
Blockbuster its costs incurred in defending itself.

"The Quebec court's decision validates our position that these
extended viewing fee cases have no merit and are being driven by
the plaintiffs' lawyers who are looking for an opportunistic
settlement," said Edward B. Stead, executive vice president and
general counsel for Blockbuster. "Blockbuster charges a fair
price when customers choose to extend their initial rental
period. Our members clearly understand extended viewing fees are
a necessary part of the rental business. We hope this decision
will end this litigation. However, if the plaintiffs' attorneys
continue pursuing this matter, we will continue defending
ourselves while at the same time maintaining emphasis on taking
care of our customers."

In his ruling, Justice Jacques R. Fournier found that after
considering all the evidence, testimony of the witnesses and the
arguments of the attorneys, the class action should be dismissed
and Blockbuster should be reimbursed its costs. The court found
that the plaintiffs' claim of exploitation did not "correspond
to the commercial reality." Indeed, recognizing that Blockbuster
had responded to its customers' demands by extending the initial
rental period, Justice Fournier found that it would have been
"ironic" if Blockbuster should "today be penalized for having
offered more than it was offering before."


CARGILL INC.: Plaintiffs' Attorneys Disqualified in MN Bias Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Due to action it found unethical, a federal court disqualified
the plaintiffs' attorneys in a three-year-old race-
discrimination suit against Cargill, Inc., the Minneapolis Star
Tribune reports.

U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank, who said the Sprenger & Lang
law firm had improperly ingratiated it with a former Cargill
employee who supplied confidential Cargill documents, issued the
disqualification order.  The judge also found that the law firm
had also improperly received the documents and mishandled them
by reviewing them and keeping copies for 18 months.  He gave
plaintiffs until January 24, 2005 to find new attorneys or face
the possibility of having the case dismissed.

Commenting on the unusual order, Hamline law professor David
Schultz said that it was "really rare," estimating that it
occurs in less than 1 percent of all cases. "It has to be really
serious."

Attorney Charles Lundberg of Bassford Remele, representing
Sprenger & Lang, said that except for a request for class-action
certification, the case was ready to go to trial. He further
adds, "We don't anticipate that finding new counsel will be a
problem," and that the firm is helping the plaintiffs find one.

Judge Frank originally acted on a June 17 motion by Cargill to
dismiss the suit, sanction the Sprenger law firm and disqualify
it, but he refused to grant the first two and said that there is
no circumstance under which the court can countenance S&L's
conduct.

Twenty-five black employees and former employees of Cargill, a
Minnesota-based agribusiness giant, filed the suit in November
2001. Plaintiffs alleged that of 150 top management positions, a
black person filled only one, and they alleged a pattern of
discriminatory practices at the company.

In a prepared statement about Judge Frank's action, Sprenger &
Lang said it strives "to adhere to the highest ethical
standards" and will review its practices and take appropriate
actions.


COLORADO: Court Allows New Welfare Benefits System To Proceed
-------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court in Denver, Colorado allowed the
state to proceed with its new $200 million Colorado Benefits
Management System, despite allegations that the system was
plagued with problems, Rocky Mountain News reports.

The Law and Policy Center of Denver filed the suit, alleging
that the system was slow and filed with errors, and that it
would cause thousands of people to lose food stamps, Medicaid,
rent subsidies and other benefits.

Federal Judge John Coughlin said he agreed more with the
plaintiffs' views of the system. However, he stated the
plaintiffs had gotten their benefits using the system, so their
attorneys failed to show that the CBMS had done irreparable
harm.

However, he also warned attorneys for the state, saying, "Don't
think for a moment you're out of the woods."  He asked
plaintiffs' attorneys to file another suit, once they can
clearly show that welfare clients have been hurt by errors in
the new system.

The suit wants the old legacy system back.  Plaintiffs,
supported by most of the counties' social services directors,
alleged that otherwise backlogs would grow and thousands of
people won't get paid in October and November.

The state's old legacy system processed the September payments.
Both sides agreed that Friday - the first day of October - will
be a huge day in determining how many people lose benefits.

Electronic Data Systems put together the CBMS system.  However,
several EDS systems worldwide have encountered problems.  Last
year, Great Britain dumped EDS' system for processing tax
refunds for the nation.  The Financial Times of London reported
that overpayments and underpayments totaled hundreds of millions
of pounds.

Great Britain's Child Support Agency has threatened to unplug
its $807 million EDS system unless performance improves.  The
system went into service 18 months ago, yet the backlog is
growing by 120,000 cases a year, according to testimony in
Parliament, Rocky Mountain News reports.

Colorado is the first state to try to bring several different
benefit programs under one system that processes both
eligibility and payments.

"We are mindful of the judge's concerns and we will work very,
very hard to make the fixes needed in the system," said Marva
Hammons, executive director of the Colorado Department of Human
Services, which oversees food stamps and other benefit programs,
according to Rocky Mountain News.

Gov. Bill Owens, who had urged county commissioners to stick
with the new system, said he remains committed to solving the
problems.

Ms. Hammons on Tuesday told Rocky Mountain News she would hire
57 temporary technicians and assign them to computer terminals
in Denver and Colorado Springs to help counties work on the
backlog.


CRUISE SHIPS: High Court To Hear ADA Suit V. Foreign Cruise Ship
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Supreme Court is set to hear an appeal of a
lower court ruling stating that foreign-flag cruise ships are
not covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the
Associated Press reports.

Disabled groups filed the suit, styled "Spector v. Norwegian
Cruise Line, 03-1388."  These groups boarded a Norwegian Cruise
Line in Houston in 1998 and alleged that they weren't given
adequate access to ship pools, restaurants and emergency
equipment.  They further asserted that they were forced to pay
additional fees for wheelchair accessible rooms, inhibiting
their rights to "participate fully in society."

The Company defended itself, saying that the law is silent on
whether foreign cruise lines are covered by the ADA.  The
Company asserted only an express statement of Congress can
justify imposing the U.S. law on a ship that sails under a
foreign flag, even if it is docked at a U.S. port.

"This well-established principle of maritime and international
law prevents unintended clashes between port states and flag
states over the governance of oceangoing ships," Norwegian's
filing states, according to AP.

The United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in
January that foreign-flag cruise ships were not covered by the
ADA.  However, both cruise lines and disability groups then
urged the Supreme Court to take the case, noting a conflict with
an 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision in 2000 saying
foreign ships must comply with the law.  In that lawsuit, a
Florida resident said she had to pay additional fees for a room
with disabled access.

The case has wide implications for the cruise industry, which
could be forced to spend millions of dollars to remodel ships.
The International Council of Cruise Lines filed a friend of the
court brief in support of Norwegian Cruise Line, while several
advocacy groups joined in a brief for the disabled plaintiffs.

"Making cruise ships fully accessible to people with
disabilities makes good business sense," the brief from
Paralyzed Veterans of America and other groups stated, citing an
expected surge in the disabled population due to aging baby
boomers, AP reports.

After the 11th Circuit decision, several cruise lines settled
lawsuits claiming ADA violations, and a federal judge in Miami
ordered a Casino Princesa Ship in 2001 to make restrooms more
wheelchair-accessible.


FORD MOTOR: Crown Victoria Car Sales Can Be Denied, Judge Rules
---------------------------------------------------------------
A Florida Circuit Court judge ruled Ford Motor Co. may refuse to
sell its controversial Crown Victoria Police Interceptors to
Florida law enforcement agencies who joined a class action
against the automaker over fuel tank fires, the Associated Press
reports.

Judge G. Robert Barron denied Okaloosa County Sheriff Charlie
Morris' request that he order the automaker to resume selling
cars to his department, after it refused to sell any more to him
since July 2003, a year after he filed the lawsuit.

The suit alleges that the full-size, V-8 powered, four-door
sedans have exploded in flames when struck from behind at high
speed because of poor design, in some cases killing police
officers.  Last month, the court granted class action status to
the suit, allowing other law enforcement agencies to join.  No
deadline for potential plaintiffs to join or opt out has been
set.

According to the ruling, case law establishes a company's right
to refuse to do business with any customer.  With Barron's
ruling in hand, Ford also will refuse to sell the cars to any
other agency that participates in the suit, said company lawyer
David Cannella.  "It's fundamentally illogical for Sheriff
Morris to, on one hand, sue us and, on the other hand, seek the
court to order (Ford) to sell him more vehicles," Mr. Cannella
told AP.

Sheriff Morris' lawyers say that there have been 14 accidents
nationwide in which Police Interceptors caught fire after being
rear-ended.  One of Morris' attorneys, Don Barrett, has said the
sheriff firmly believes the Police Interceptors are defective
but he wants to buy new ones to replace aging cars because
seeking other vehicles would be more costly, AP reports.

Ford attorneys counter that the accidents represent only .01
percent of Police Interceptors on the road.  None of Morris'
cars have been involved.  Ford also has installed protective
shields on the back of the rear-wheel drive cars, which have
gotten five-star crash ratings from federal vehicle-safety
inspectors, company lawyers say.


GARG DATA: SEC Lodges Lawsuit Over PurchasePro Financial Fraud
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil complaint
in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia charging
Sushil K. Garg (Garg) and Garg Data International, Inc. (Garg
Data) with aiding and abetting violations of the antifraud and
other provisions of the federal securities laws. According to
the complaint, the defendants aided and abetted a fraudulent
scheme to artificially inflate the first quarter 2001 (Q1 2001)
revenues of PurchasePro.com, Inc. ("PurchasePro" or the
"Company"), a Las Vegas-based Internet company now known as Pro-
After, Inc. Defendants Garg and Garg Data have agreed to settle
the charges against them by consenting to the entry of final
judgments, without admitting or denying the allegations in the
Commission's complaint, that will impose full injunctive relief
and that will, in the case of Garg, also impose a civil penalty
of $50,000.

The Commission's complaint against Garg and Garg Data alleges
that the defendants aided and abetted PurchasePro's fraudulent
inflation of its Q1 2001 reported revenues by knowingly:

     (1) engaging in a sham wash transaction with PurchasePro;

     (2) signing a contract for the wash transaction after the
         close of Q1 2001 that used an earlier misleading
         effective date that  Garg knew was designed to allow
         PurchasePro to improperly record the transaction in Q1
         2001; and

     (3) causing the return  of a false and misleading
         confirmation of the  transaction  to PurchasePro's
         outside auditors.

The complaint alleges that in the second quarter of 2001, Garg
completed negotiations with PurchasePro for, and then executed a
contract to buy, a $3.5 million marketplace license for
PurchasePro software that Garg had no intention to use and that
Garg Data could not afford. In fact, the complaint alleges, Garg
Data already owned a marketplace license for PurchasePro's
software that it had purchased several months earlier. The
complaint further alleges that PurchasePro effectively funded
its own revenues by agreeing to buy approximately $10 million of
goods and services from Garg and forwarding $4 million to Garg -
- which Garg then used to cover Garg Data's payment for the $3.5
million marketplace license. As alleged in the complaint, this
$3.5 million sham sale was improperly booked by PurchasePro in
Q1 2001 and alone accounted for over 20% of PurchasePro's
reported revenues for the quarter.

Based on these allegations, the Commission charged both Garg and
Garg Data with aiding and abetting PurchasePro's violations of
the antifraud provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
("Exchange Act") (Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 thereunder), and
the reporting, books and records, internal accounting controls,
and lying-to-auditors provisions of the Exchange Act (Sections
13(a), 13(b)(2)(A) and 13(b)(2)(B), and Rules 12b-20, 13a-13,
and 13b2-2).

The Commission's investigation in this matter is continuing. The
action is titled, SEC v. Sushil K. Garg and Garg Data
International, Inc., C.A. No. 04-1662 PLF (D. D.C.).


INTERSTATE BAKERIES: To Ask Court To Allow $18M Pact To Proceed
---------------------------------------------------------------
The fate of the $18 million settlement for the shareholder class
actions filed against Interstate Bakeries Corporation rests in
the hands of a bankruptcy judge after the Company filed for
Chapter 11 protection from creditors on September 22, the News
Tribune reports.

On September 21, the Company formally signed the securities suit
settlement, filed in the United States District Court in Kansas
City, Missouri.  Under the settlement, the Company would pay $3
million, and its insurer agreed to pay the balance.

The suit alleges that Company officials intentionally misled
investors during a September 2002 conference call by saying
snack cake sales were rebounding.  After the conference call,
several officials allegedly sold $16 million worth of stock, and
when the company reported in December that sales continued to
fall, the stock lost 35 percent of its value.

A Company spokeswoman told the News Tribune that the Company
intended to ask U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Jerry Venters to allow the
settlement to proceed.  Litigation typically is put on hold
during a bankruptcy.  Parties can ask the judge to allow their
cases to go forward, although the criteria are considered very
strict.  Even if the judge allows the settlement, it would
become another unsecured claim against the Company.  In its
bankruptcy filings, the company says it has around 500,000
creditors.


KENWORTH TRUCK: Recalls 203 Trucks Due To Crash, Accident Risk
--------------------------------------------------------------
Kenworth Truck Company is cooperating with the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration by voluntarily recalling 203
trucks, namely:

     (1) Kenworth model T600, build year 2004;

     (2) Kenworth model T800, build year 2004;

     (3) Kenworth model W900, build year 2004

On certain trucks built with the optional Dana SPL Driveline,
the U-joint fasteners at the output yoke of the transmission
were not properly tightened.  If the u-joints were to become
loose, a portion of the driveline could become detached from the
vehicle and fall out from under the vehicle, which could cause a
crash.

Dealers will verify the torque of the u-joint fasteners.  Parts
showing excessive wear will be replaced.  The recall is expected
to begin during October 2004.

For more details, contact the Company by Phone: 1-425-828-5418
or contact the NHTSA's auto safety Hotline: 1-888-DASH-2-DOT
(1-888-327-4236).


MICHIGAN: 180,000 Music CDS Distributed To Schools, Other Groups
----------------------------------------------------------------
More than 180,000 music CDs have been distributed to statewide
public schools, libraries, domestic violence shelters, and a
local early childhood development charity, Partnership for
Learning, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox announced in a
statement.

The CDs were awarded to Michigan as part of a national antitrust
settlement involving several music distributors and retailers.
The CDs are valued at more than $2 million.  Michigan was one of
45 states that were awarded CDs to distribute to state residents
via governmental and charitable organizations.

"I am glad that my office can bring the gift of music directly
to so many consumers across this state," AG Cox said.  "All
segments of Michigan's population, from infants to the elderly,
will benefit from this distribution."

AG Cox was highly sensitive to distributing particular CD's of
music genres and specific title selections that might be
inappropriate for younger audiences.  Cox's staff worked
directly with Michigan's recipients by having them pick the
music genres they would receive.  In addition, AG Cox offered
the public schools and libraries an opportunity to review and
approve the actual music titles they would receive prior to the
CDs being shipped out.  These gestures were well received by
those recipients.

The State Librarian for the Library of Michigan, Christie
Pearson Brandau, remarked, "The library cooperatives are
extremely pleased with the way the Attorney General's office
worked with us on this distribution. I look forward to reporting
to the state Librarian's upcoming conference on how well the
project is being handled in Michigan, as compared to other
states."

In 2003, AG Cox and 45 other state Attorneys General settled a
national antitrust lawsuit brought against several music
distributors and retailers for conspiring to fix CD prices.  The
$143 million settlement included refunds for consumers as well
as actual CDs for states to give to those affected by the
alleged price fixing.  AG Cox requested that Michigan's portion
of the settlement be distributed to non-profit groups, public
schools, libraries, and the US military.  The US military
received their 11,000 music CDs earlier this summer.  This
distribution will be of 181,009 CDs to a total of 87 recipient
groups.  The value of the distribution is $2,455,778.16.


MICHIGAN: Latino, Hispanics Protest "PowerNomics" Plan
-------------------------------------------------------
Several Latino and Hispanic community leaders gathered in front
of Detroit City Hall in protest of a black economic development
plan that some say contains jarring statements against
immigrants, the Detroit News reports.

The Detroit City Council hired economist Claud Anderson for
$112,000 to write PowerNomics, a project calling for a solely
African-American business district.  One of his statements
blames economic disparities that blacks experience on
immigrants.

Earlier, the City Council passed two resolutions related to the
economic proposal.  The first intended to start an economic
corporation that would lend $30 million in earmarked casino
funds only to black businesses.  The second declares black
Detroiters are the "majority underserved population."  Mayor
Kwame Kilpatrick vetoed the two proposals, expressing concern
about the legality of the plan and polarizing non-blacks, but
the council subsequently overrode his decision, the Detroit News
reports.

"These statements serve only to divide a city already struggling
to overcome numerous barriers to a secure economic future,"
Angela Reyes, executive director of the Detroit Hispanic
Development Corporation, told the Detroit News.

Opponents of Anderson's report told the Detroit News Tuesday
they are not against the idea of an African Town but the means
for creating it.  They want the city council to apologize, take
back the resolutions and correct misinformation regarding the
suit.  The group also plans to request the Michigan American
Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) give an opinion on the resolutions,
to make a decision on whether the group should file a class
action.

"We provide a lot of tax base to the city," Joseph Reyes,
treasurer of the Hispanic Business Alliance, told the Detroit
News. Of the 400 businesses represented, 230 are in Detroit, he
said.


OHIO: Defendants in $15M Hedge Fund Scheme Settle SEC Action
------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission through the U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of Ohio, obtained a Final
Judgments of Permanent Injunction and other relief (Final
Judgments) against defendants Von Christopher Cummings and two
entities that he controlled, Paramount Financial Partners, L.P.
and Paramount Capital Management, LLC, John A. Ryan, Kevin L.
Grandy, James Curtis Conley, Kevin D. Hightower, John E. Hawley,
Michael L. Vogt and Omar Benaouda. As part of the settlements,
the defendants consented to permanent injunctions and other
relief, without admitting or denying the allegations in the
Commission's complaint.

The Final Judgments also order:

     (1) Cummings, age 34, of Dublin, Ohio, Paramount Financial
         Partners, L.P. and Paramount Financial Partners, LLC
         jointly and severally to disgorge $15,907,880
         (including prejudgment interest), and Cummings to pay a
         civil penalty of $110,000;

     (2) Ryan, age 43, of Redwood City, California, to disgorge
         $619,806 (including prejudgment interest) and to pay a
         civil penalty of $110,000;

     (3) Grandy, age 34, of Columbus, Ohio, to pay a civil
         penalty of $15,000;

     (4) Conley, age 33, of Columbus, Ohio, to disgorge $85,000
         plus prejudgment interest, with payment of all but
         $7,500 waived and no penalty imposed based upon
         financial information provided by Conley in a sworn
         affidavit;

     (5) Hightower, age 36, of Reynoldsburg, Ohio, to disgorge
         $168,203 (including prejudgment interest) and to pay a
         civil penalty of $25,000;

     (6) Hawley, age 33, of Mount Vernon, New York, to disgorge
         $80,000 plus prejudgment interest, with payment waived
         and no penalty imposed based upon financial information
         provided by Hawley in a sworn affidavit;

     (7) Vogt, age 31, of Clearwater, Florida, to disgorge
         $104,000 plus prejudgment interest, with payment waived
         and no penalty imposed based upon financial information
         provided by Vogt in a sworn affidavit;

     (8) Benaouda, age 31, of New York, New York, to disgorge
         $121,500 plus prejudgment interest, with payment waived
         and no penalty imposed based upon financial information
         provided by Benaouda in a sworn affidavit;

Final Judgments were also entered against Relief Defendants
Gordon L. Yocom, Gordon Lending Corp. and Patrick Susemihl,
pursuant to their consents. Gordon Lending Corp. and Yocom, age
35, of Powell, Ohio, were ordered to jointly and severally to
disgorge $72,734 (including prejudgment interest). Susemihl was
ordered to disgorge $108,318 (including prejudgment interest).

The Commission's complaint alleged that Von Cummings and others
defrauded dozens of investors by conducting a Ponzi scheme
through a purported Ohio-based hedge fund, Paramount Financial
Partners, L.P. The complaint alleged that Cummings and various
marketers induced investors to pay at least $15 million into the
hedge fund from at least May 2000 through March 2001, but that
Cummings and others misappropriated or diverted those funds to
pay earlier investors and pay personal and business expenses.
Cummings owned, managed and controlled the Paramount entities.
Ryan and Grandy were two of Paramount's chief marketers.

The Commission's complaint charged that Cummings, Paramount
Financial, Paramount Capital, Ryan, Grandy and Conley violated
Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.
The complaint further alleged that Paramount Financial and
Paramount Capital violated Sections 206(1) and 206(2) of the
Investment Advisers Act (Advisers Act) and that Cummings, Ryan,
Grandy and Conley aided and abetted those violations of the
Advisers Act.

The Commission's complaint charged that Hightower aided and
abetted Cummings and Paramount's violations of Section 10(b) of
the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. In addition,
Hightower aided and abetted violations of Section 15(a) of the
Exchange Act by Vogt, Hawley, Benaouda and others.

The Commission's complaint alleged that Vogt and Hawley violated
Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act by accepting compensation from
Paramount and "selling away" from their employer, a brokerage
firm. The complaint also charged that Benaouda violated Section
15(a) of the Exchange Act by engaging in the securities
brokerage business without a license. The action is titled, SEC
v. Von Christopher Cummings, et al., Civil Action No.  2:02-cv-
00629, USDC, SD Ohio (LR-18901).


ORION BUS: Recalls Orion Buses Due To Defective Locking Toggles
---------------------------------------------------------------
Orion Bus Industries, Inc. is cooperating with the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by voluntarily
recalling 452 Orion Buses model VII, years 2002-2004.

On certain buses, the battery storage sliding tray locking
toggle was not tightened sufficiently.  The battery door can
open allowing the battery tray to slide out from the stored
position.  This could cause an obstacle, which could result in a
crash.

Dealers will inspect and add a locking pin to keep the battery
tray from sliding.  Orion has not yet provided an owner
notification schedule for this campaign.

For more details, contact the Company by Phone: 1-905-403-7832
or contact the NHTSA auto safety Hotline: 1-888-DASH-2-DOT
(1-888-327-4236).


PLAYKIDS USA: Recalls 1,600 Baby Walkers Due To Injury Hazard
-------------------------------------------------------------4
PlayKids USA, Inc. of Brooklyn, New York is cooperating with the
United States Consumer Product Safety Commission by voluntarily
recalling about 1,600 PlayKids USA baby walkers.

The walkers will fit through a standard doorway and are not
designed to stop at the edge of a step. Babies using these
walkers can be seriously injured or killed if they fall down
stairs.

These baby walkers were sold under the brand name "Playkids
USA." They have model numbers PLK94STP, PLT95STP, PLK2000RC,
PLK95, PLK94, PLK98STP, PLK2000 or PLK300 on the package and on
a sewn-in label on the seat back. The plastic walkers have eight
snap-in wheels, an activity tray with toy wheels, knobs and
lights, and a padded fabric seat. They come in a variety of
colors and seat fabrics. The sewn-in seat label also reads
"PLAYKIDS U.S.A. BROOKLYN, NY 11229 MADE IN TAIWAN."

Manufactured in Taiwan, the baby walkers were sold at small
independent specialty juvenile retailers nationwide from
February 2003 through April 2004 for between $29 and $39.

Consumers should stop using the recalled walkers immediately and
contact PlayKids to receive a full refund.

Consumer Contact: PlayKids USA, Inc. at (718) 332-3450 collect
between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday.


SALTON INC.: $280T Settlement Share Distributed To MI Foodbanks
---------------------------------------------------------------
Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox presented nearly $280,000 in
settlement funds to four Michigan foodbanks, namely Capuchin
Soup Kitchen, The Salvation Army, Gleaners Community Food Bank,
and The Father Fred Foundation, due to a multi-state settlement
with Salton Appliances over alleged price fixing.

"When companies engage in anti-competitive activities, they do a
disservice to the public and to themselves," AG Cox stated.
"Today's settlement will award organizations that not only
comply with the law, but go above and beyond the call of duty to
help those in need."

"It is a known fact that the poor and less fortunate, as well as
seniors and other very fragile individuals are often easily
misled to look for quick solutions and easy answers to their
problems of hunger, health and other needs," Fr. Lloyd Thiel of
Capuchin Soup Kitchen said.  "Misleading advertising and price
fixing often grip those individuals into making deals that are
ultimately destructive to themselves."

"We are grateful to Attorney General Mike Cox and the State of
Michigan for placing their confidence in The Salvation Army's
Eastern Michigan Division by awarding us these funds," Major
Norman Marshall stated.  Each year, the Eastern Michigan
Division provides 1,400,000 meals to the needy and 340,000
nights of shelter.

Founded in 1977, Gleaners Community Food Bank serves
Southeastern Michigan by collecting, storing, and distributing 2
million pounds of nutritional and wholesome food each month to
over 300 member agencies that directly feed hungry people.  "The
people who depend on us through our 300 agencies are faced with
indescribable challenges of unemployment and increased costs for
basic needs," President Agostinho Fernandes said.  "Gleaners is
grateful to the Attorney General for this special contribution
to support our mission to `nourish our community by feeding
hungry people'."

The Father Fred Foundation was founded in 1990 to serve the
needy of Northwest Lower Michigan.  Michael Shockley, the
Administrative Director announced, "We are very grateful to
receive this matching grant. It will be used to continue our
good work of improving the lives of struggling families and
individuals of Northwest Lower Michigan."

These dollars are part of the Attorney General's innovative
settlement distribution plan under consumer protection
litigation.  "By distributing these funds to organizations with
track records of quality service and fundraising success, it
doubles the impact these dollars can have on the State of
Michigan," AG Cox stated.

Forty-seven states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico
entered into the settlement agreement with Salton, Inc., one of
the leading marketers and distributors of small appliances.  The
claim arose from allegations that Salton, Inc. entered into
vertical agreements with, or otherwise coerced, retailers to fix
the resale price at which they sold Salton Contact Grills
(otherwise known as George Foreman Grills), as well as engaged
in anti-competitive conduct that resulted in retailers declining
to sell non-Salton Contact Grills.  The settlement awarded a
total of $8 million to the plaintiff states.


SAUDER WOODWORKING: Recalls 300T TV/VCR Carts For Injury Hazard
---------------------------------------------------------------
Sauder Woodworking Co., of Archbold, Ohio is cooperating with
the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission by
voluntarily recalling about 300,000 TV/VCR carts.

The carts can tip over and the television can fall off, posing a
risk of serious injury or death if the TV and cart fall on a
child. Sauder Woodworking received one report of a cart tipping
over, though no injuries have been reported.

The recalled TV/VCR carts are white, light brown and light
reddish brown; have decorative hardware and trim; and are about
29 inches wide, 17 inches deep, and 25 inches high. The carts
are equipped with a top shelf for a television 20 inches or
smaller and a middle shelf for a VCR and a lower storage area.
The recalled carts include models 3355, 6355, 7755, 9855 and
9755, which can be found on the instruction book that came with
the cart.

Manufactured in the United States, the carts were sold at
department, discount and home electronic stores nationwide sold
the 3355, 6355 and 7755 model from October 1991 through May 1999
for between $80 and $100. The 9855 and 9755 models were sold
exclusively at Target stores.

Consumers should stop using the TV/VCR carts immediately and do
the following:

     (1) Remove the television and all contents.

     (2) Turn the cart over and remove the four casters from the
         bottom of the cart. This will bring the tip-stability
         of the cart into compliance with the latest industry
         standards.

     (3) Contact Sauder Woodworking Co. to receive a free
         retrofit kit and safe use information.

     (4) When updated, this cart will be suitable for use with
         TVs weighing 50 pounds or less. This includes most TVs
         that are 20 inches or smaller.

Consumer Contact: Consumers should contact Sauder Woodworking
Co. toll-free at (888) 800-6315 between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
EST Monday through Friday, or visit the company's Web site at
http://www.sauder.com,to receive a free repair kit.


SMARTIRE SYSTEMS: Recalls Tire Pressure Kits For Injury Hazard
--------------------------------------------------------------
SmarTire Systems, Inc. is cooperating with the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by voluntarily recalling
576 SmarTire Aftermarket Motorcycle Tire Pressure Monitoring
System Kits P/N 084.8002, due to a defective part for the
sensor, labeled 200.0100.

The sensor/transmitter may break during motorcycle high speed,
allowing the sensor to tumble freely in the tire rim cavity.
Safe vehicle operation may be affected, which may lead to
personal injury.

SmarTire will notify its customers and replace the sensor free
of charge.  The recall is expected to begin during September or
October 2004.  Owners who take their motorcycles to an
authorized dealer on an agreed upon service date and do not
receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact
the Company's Customer Service by Phone: 1-888-982-3001.  For
more information, customers can contact the NHTSA's auto safety
hotline: 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).


SONUS NETWORKS: MA Superior Court Dismisses Securities Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Ruling that the plaintiffs improperly failed to seek a remedy
from the company's board, Superior Court Judge Allan van Gestel
dismissed a shareholder suit against Sonus Networks Inc., the
Boston Business Journal reports.

In February, Sonus revealed that several of its employees booked
revenue in the wrong financial reporting periods. After such
revelations, the company ultimately replaced its chief financial
officer with former Manufacturing Services Ltd. CFO Albert
Notini.

Shareholders Steven Palma and Brian Tillman sued Sonus in
February, along with several of the Chelmsford company's
directors and officers, claiming that the company issued false
statements regarding its financial condition. They further
claimed that any appeal to the company's board would have been a
"futile, wasteful and useless act," citing other business
relationships between them.

In his decision, Judge van Gestel ruled that five of Sonus'
seven outside directors are independent, and cited a 1915 case,
which held "there is nothing sinister or corrupt in the single
fact of association of affiliation in financial matters."


SPEAR & JACKSON: Shareholders Lodge Stock Fraud Suits in S.D. FL
----------------------------------------------------------------
Spear & Jackson, Inc. faces several securities class actions
filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of
Florida on behalf of purchasers of the Company's publicly traded
securities during the period between July 14, 2003 and April 15,
2004.  The suit also names as defendants Sherb & Co LLP, the
Company's outside auditor, and certain of the Company's
directors and officers, including Dennis Crowley, its chief
executive officer and William Fletcher, chief financial officer.

The complaint charges the Company and certain of its officers
and directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934.  SJCK manufactures and distributes tools, garden tools,
metrology equipment, woodworking tools and magnetic equipment.

The Company has not yet responded to the suits, and likely will
not until they have been consolidated and lead counsel appointed
for the Class, the Company said in a disclosure to the United
States Securities and Exchange Commission.


SUNLINK HEALTH: Reaches Shareholder Derivative Action Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
The settlement of the shareholder derivative action (Barber vs.
SunLink Health Systems, Inc., et al.; Superior Court of Fulton
County, Georgia; Civil Action No.: 2004-CV-82484) which was
originally filed as a shareholder class action against the
SunLink Health Systems, Inc. (AMEX:SSY) and its Directors in
March 2004, and amended in September 2004 to assert derivative
claims has been recently approved by the Court.

A similar shareholder class action (Ross vs. SunLink Health
Systems, Inc., et al.; Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia;
Civil Action No.: 2004-CV-81871) was voluntarily dismissed by
the plaintiff, Mary Ross, in April, 2004.

Under the terms of the Court approved settlement, the Company
will make limited changes to corporate governance measures,
certain of which would have otherwise been required under
recently adopted SEC regulations and American Stock Exchange
Rules. Additionally, under the terms of the Court approved
settlement, the plaintiff will provide a release, waiver and
covenant not to sue derivatively.

Also, under the terms of the Court approved settlement, the
Company agreed to disclose again the basis on which the Board
relied in deciding not to accept the overtures by Attentus
Healthcare earlier in 2004. In that regard, the Company
reiterates that in early 2004, Attentus made an unsolicited
"offer" to purchase the company for $4.00, and then later for
$5.00 per share, both subject to and conditioned on due
diligence and negotiation of definitive documents. At the time
of the $4.00 overture, the SunLink Board of Directors, after
careful consideration, including consultation with the Company's
financial and legal advisors, concluded that the overture by
Attentus was financially inadequate because the company's
business plan offered the opportunity for greater increases in
shareholder value and, therefore, the company should not be
offered for sale at the time. That determination by the Board
was subsequently proven correct. After the $5.00 overture, the
SunLink Board, after consultation with its legal and financial
advisors, authorized management to execute an appropriate
confidentiality agreement with Attentus as a necessary step to
any discussions with Attentus regarding the overture and
SunLink's value. Ultimately, Attentus did not enter into any
confidentiality agreement with SunLink and there have been no
further discussions with Attentus.

Under the terms of the Court approved settlement, SunLink paid
no damages to plaintiff, but agreed to make a payment of certain
attorneys' fees and expenses to plaintiff's legal counsel.

"We are pleased that the case has been resolved, and that the
Board and management can again focus their full attention on the
Company's business and on enhancing shareholder value," said
Robert M. Thornton, Jr., SunLink's Chairman and CEO.


TALX CORPORATION: SEC Files Suit V. Ex-Executive Assistant in MO
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint against
Linda Ensor of St. Louis, Missouri and her husband, Stephen
Ensor, also of St. Louis, for insider trading in the securities
of TALX Corporation, a St. Louis-based technology company. The
Commission alleged that the Ensors illegally sold TALX shares in
advance of a negative press release issued by the company after
the close of trading on Nov. 14, 2002. Linda Ensor, a former
executive assistant at TALX Corporation, learned of the contents
of the press release on the morning of Nov. 14, 2002, when she
performed various administrative tasks in preparation for the
release's issuance. After completing these tasks, Linda Ensor
drove to her home and called Stephen Ensor to inform him of the
contents of the forthcoming announcement. During the phone call,
Stephen Ensor began placing online orders to sell all 5,510
shares held in the couples' retirement accounts. The illegal
sales generated total proceeds of $70,298 and enabled the Ensors
to avoid the effects of a dramatic decline in TALX's stock price
the following day.

The complaint charges the Ensors with violating Section 10(b) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C.  78j(b), and
Rule 10b-5 thereunder, 17 C.F.R.  240.10b-5. The Commission's
complaint seeks permanent injunctions against the Ensors from
future violations of these provisions, disgorgement of their
losses avoided, and other appropriate relief. The complaint was
filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Missouri. The action is titled, SEC v. Linda Ensor,
et al., Civil Action No. 4:04CV1320 (CEJ) E.D.M.O. (LR-18902).


TELEBRANDS CORPORATION: Ordered To Stop False Ab Force Claims
-------------------------------------------------------------
An administrative law judge has ordered the marketers of the "Ab
Force" belt to stop making claims that it causes or promotes
weight, inches, or fat loss; causes or promotes well-defined
abdominal muscles; or is an effective alternative to regular
exercise.

In an initial decision announced today, Chief Administrative Law
Judge Stephen J. McGuire upheld a Federal Trade Commission
complaint charging Telebrands Corporation, TV Savings LLC, and
their owner, Ajit Khubani, with unfair or deceptive acts or
practices and false advertising.

The Fairfield, New Jersey-based operation marketed and sold the
Ab Force ab belt -- an electronic muscle stimulation (EMS)
device that causes the muscles to contract involuntarily.  The
administrative complaint issued by the FTC in 2003 alleged that
the respondents' infomercials falsely claimed that users could
achieve weight loss, fat loss, and inch loss, get well-developed
abs, and that use of the belt is an effective equivalent to
regular exercise.

The ruling announced today follows an administrative trial to
resolve the charges in the administrative complaint. Judge
McGuire concluded that the respondents' advertisements were
"likely to mislead consumers, acting reasonably under the
circumstances, in a material respect."

Judge McGuire noted that the record indicated that the
advertisements at issue made false and misleading claims that:

     (1) Use of the Ab Force causes loss of weight, inches, or
         fat;

     (2) Use of the Ab Force causes well-defined abdominal
         muscles; and

     (3) Use of the Ab Force is an effective alternative to
         regular exercise.

Judge McGuire's order would prohibit Telebrands and the other
respondents from representing that the Ab Force or any
substantially similar device causes or promotes loss of weight,
inches, or fat, or well-defined abdominal muscles, or is an
effective alternative to regular exercise, and from
misrepresenting that any EMS device will have these effects.

The order would also prohibit Telebrands -- in connection with
the production, promotion, sale, or distribution of Ab Force,
any other EMS device, or any device, product, service, or
program promoting the efficacy of or pertaining to health,
weight loss, fitness, or exercise -- from making any
representation about weight, inch, or fat loss; muscle
definition; exercise benefits; or the health benefits, safety,
or efficacy of any such product, service, or program without
possessing and relying upon competent and reliable scientific
evidence that substantiates the representation.

Judge McGuire did not grant the request of Complaint Counsel to
require Khubani to obtain a performance bond before engaging in
any manufacturing, labeling, advertising, promotion, sale, or
distribution of any device, citing the absence of "any case law
which would support the imposition of such a bond as a remedy in
a litigated Part III matter."

The Judge's initial decision is subject to review by the full
Commission, either on its own motion or at the request of either
party. The initial decision will become the decision of the
Commission 30 days after it is served on the parties or 30 days
after the filing of a timely notice of appeal (whichever is
later), unless: (1) a party filing a notice of appeal perfects
an appeal by the timely filing of an appeal brief; or (2) the
Commission takes certain other actions detailed in its Rules.

For more details, contact FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room
130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580, or
visit the Website: http://www.ftc.gov,or contact Brenda Mack,
of the Office of Public Affairs by Phone: 202-326-2182


TRACKER MARINE: Recalls Boat Trailers Because of Accident Hazard
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Tracker Marine Group is cooperating with the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by voluntarily
recalling 8 boat trailers, model Trailstar V 21 VSA, build years
2001-2003.

On certain boat trailers, the trailer/boat combination may
exceed the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR).  This condition
will cause unusual wear to the tires and could cause a sudden
lose of tire pressure while in operation, increasing the risk of
a crash.

Dealers will increase the GVWR of existing trailers, by
replacing a new axle on the trailers.  The recall is expected to
begin during September 2004.

For more details, contact the Company by Phone: 1-417-873-4528
or the NHTSA's auto safety hotline: 1-888-DASH-2-DOT
(1-888-327-4236).


UNITED STATES: Black Farmers To Be Included In Loan Committees
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Department of Agriculture intends to put more
black farmers on committees that decide who gets federal farm
loans, the agency's top civil rights official Vernon Parker told
demonstrators outside the department's Washington headquarters
Tuesday, Midwest News reports.

The demonstrators were protesting the department's alleged
continuing refusal to correct a history of discrimination.  Many
black farmers alleged that the white-dominated panels of three
to five members in many counties have used their power to force
the foreclosure of many black farms, which then are purchased by
whites.

The demonstrators also accused the department of blocking the
process through which claims are paid under the landmark
settlement of a 1999 class action.  The suit alleged that the
department discriminated against the black farmers in loans and
other assistance.

The department also faces a new federal lawsuit, alleging that
discrimination has continued despite the last settlement.  The
new suit was filed on behalf of 25,000 blacks who farmed or
attempted to farm between 1997 and 2004.

Mr. Parker said the increase in black voters on the committees
should happen soon after the November election, according to
Midwest News.  The committee system is undergoing a severe
overhaul,'' said Parker. The department announced plans to
change the committee structure in August.

The planned expansion of minority participation focuses on
county committees elected by farmers.  The committees review
eligibility for programs administered by the Agriculture
Department's Farm Service Agency.  The committees determine such
crucial points as whether a farm produces enough crops to
qualify for a loan, Midwest News reports.

John Boyd, president of the National Black Farmers Association
welcomed the plan, but said it was "a dime too late."  "If the
change had been made a decade or more ago, it could have saved a
lot of black farmers," he told MidWest News.

The department currently has the option of appointing nonvoting
minority members to county committees if farmers do not elect
them to voting seats on the panels.  Under the proposed changes,
the department could independently nominate members from
minority groups to run for voting seats.  It also could appoint
voting members from minority groups to the committees if none
run or win election, Ed Loyd, a department spokesman told
Midwest News.  Placing minority group members on the committees
would be an option if, for instance, a committee has been the
target of bias complaints, he continued.

Recently, lawmakers said that the 1999 class action settlement
did not help most of the class, before a hearing of the House
Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on the Constitution.  About
65,000 black farmers were excluded because they did not file
claims in time, said subcommittee chairman Steve Chabot, R-Ohio.
"We cannot in good conscience allow a settlement that leaves out
more potential claimants than it allows in to go unexamined or
remain unresolved," Mr. Chabot told Midwest News.

Court-appointed administrators of the settlement countered that
their hands were tied by the settlement's own restrictions.  To
qualify for an extension, farmers had to show they were delayed
by extraordinary circumstances such as a hurricane or serious
illness, and most could not, Michael J. Lewis, the settlement's
arbitrator, told Midwest News.


UNITED STATES: Legislators Contemplate Action on USDA Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
At a recent House hearing, lawmakers from both parties raised
strong concerns that tens of thousands of black farmers were
effectively shut out of even getting considered for payments
under a 1999 civil-rights settlement between the U.S. Department
of Agriculture and black farmers, the Richmond Times Dispatch
reports.

According to Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio and chairman of the House
Constitution subcommittee, "We will never be able to put the
racially discriminatory practices that have occurred, and
continue to occur, within the USDA behind us until every one of
these individuals has at least had the opportunity to be heard."

During the hearing, Rep. Robert C. Scott, D-Virginia, brought up
ways that Congress might intervene to allow an opportunity to be
heard to farmers who made their claims late. He also cautions
that if the current situation is allowed to stand black farmers
will not only have been victimized by the discriminatory
practices at USDA, but by the remedy process, as well.

Though not reaching any landmark conclusions, the lawmakers
closely examined data about the settlement's execution and
explored potential ways to try to fix what they saw as its
deficiencies.

The class-action lawsuit involved allegations of nationwide
discrimination by the USDA against black farmers, and its
settlement has led to about $831 million in financial relief to
some 13,500 people, out of more than 22,000 people who were
judged eligible to submit claims.

About 66,000 people filed on time to meet an extended deadline
for claims, according to written testimony by Randi I. Roth, the
court-appointed monitor in the case. Of that number, only 2,231
so far have gotten a new chance to file a claim for compensation
with an additional 7,870 people filing to become eligible for
payments after the extended deadline for late claims had passed.

In other testimony, Alexander Pires, a lawyer who was at the
forefront of bringing the initial lawsuit, defended his handling
of the settlement, which came under attack from a black farmer
witness, Phillip J. Haynie II of Heathsville, and under
questioning from lawmakers after he said that all of the law
firms involved have made approximately $15 million.


VOLVO CARS: Recalls 149,799 Cars, SUVs Because of Fire Hazard
-------------------------------------------------------------
Volvo Cars is cooperating with the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration (NHTSA) by voluntarily recalling 149,799
passenger and sport utility vehicles, namely:

     (1) Volvo S60, model 2001,

     (2) Volvo S80, models 1999-2001,

     (3) Volvo V70, models 2000-2001, and

     (4) Volvo V70XC, model 2001

On certain passenger and sport utility vehicles, under certain
operating conditions, some electric cooling fans may overheat
potentially causing heat damage and, in rare instances, a fire
in the engine compartment.

Dealers will replace the cooling fan.  Volvo has not yet
provided an owner notification schedule for this campaign.
Customers should contact the Company by Phone: 1-800-458-1552 or
contact the NHTSA's auto safety hotline: 1-888-DASH-2-DOT
(1-888-327-4236).


WHITE SANDS: Reaches Settlement of Health Care Antitrust Charges
----------------------------------------------------------------
A physician-hospital organization (PHO) in New Mexico has agreed
to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it drove up the
cost of health care for consumers in the Alamogordo, New Mexico
area by jointly fixing prices charged by physicians and by nurse
anesthetists to health plans and other payors.

The consent order prohibits White Sands Health Care System,
L.L.C., the Alamogordo Physicians' Cooperative, Inc., and their
agent from negotiating, refusing to deal, and setting terms for
dealing with payors on physicians' and other providers'
collective behalf.

White Sands, created in 1996, is a PHO based in Alamogordo that
consists of Alamogordo Physicians, an independent practice
association (IPA); Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center, the
only hospital in the Alamogordo area; and 31 non-physician
health care providers, including all five nurse anesthetists in
the area.  Alamogordo Physicians has 45 physician members,
representing 84 percent of all physicians independently
practicing in the area.  The FTC's complaint also names Dacite,
Inc., and its president, James R. Laurenza, who provide
consulting and payor contracting services to White Sands.

The FTC's complaint charges that White Sands' physician and
nurse anesthetist members refuse to deal individually with
health plans and instead enter into contracts that Laurenza
negotiates on their behalf.  The FTC's complaint also states
that White Sands claims to operate as a "messenger model."

Competing providers may lawfully use a "messenger" to reduce
costs and facilitate contracting with payors, as long as the
arrangement does not involve collective price-setting or other
anticompetitive agreements among the providers.  In this case,
the FTC's complaint alleges, the respondents engaged in
collective negotiations with payors and orchestrated collective
refusals to deal with payors that resisted their terms.
According to the FTC, White Sands' members' joint negotiations
did not enhance efficiency or consumer welfare.

The proposed consent order bars the respondents from entering
into any collective agreement between providers:

     (1) to negotiate with payors on any provider's behalf;

     (2) to deal or not deal with payors;

     (3) to designate the terms upon which any provider deals
         with any payor; or

     (4) to refuse to deal individually with any payor, or to
         deal with any payor only through an arrangement in
         which the respondents are involved.

Certain kinds of agreements are excluded from the generic ban on
joint negotiations, including participation in a "qualified
risk-sharing arrangement" or "qualified clinically integrated
joint arrangement," as those terms are defined by the order.

The proposed order further prohibits Dacite and Laurenza from
negotiating with any payor on behalf of White Sands, Alamogordo
Physicians, or any of their members, and from advising any
member on the terms of dealing with any payor. The respondents
are also required to notify the FTC before entering any
"messenger" arrangement with payors to negotiate the terms of a
contract.

The respondents are further required to distribute the
Commission's complaint and order to any health plans who have
negotiated with them or expressed interest in doing so. Finally,
the order contains standard record keeping and reporting
requirements to assist the FTC in monitoring the respondents'
compliance.

The Commission vote to place the proposed consent agreement on
the public record for comment was 5-0. The FTC will publish an
announcement regarding the agreement in the Federal Register
shortly. The agreement will be subject to public comment for 30
days, until October 28, 2004, after which the Commission will
decide whether to make it final. Comments should be addressed to
the FTC, Office of the Secretary, Room H-159, 600 Pennsylvania
Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580.

The FTC is requesting that any comment filed in paper form near
the end of the public comment period be sent by courier or
overnight service, if possible, because U.S. postal mail in the
Washington area and at the Commission is subject to delay due to
heightened security precautions.

For more details, visit the Company's website:
http://www.ftc.govor contact FTC's Consumer Response Center by
Mail: Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.
20580.  Also, contact Jen Schwartzman of the Office of Public
Affairs by Phone: 202-326-2674.


                      New Securities Fraud Cases


FANNIE MAE: Vianale & Vianale Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in DC
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Vianale & Vianale LLP commenced a securities
fraud class action lawsuit in District of Columbia federal court
on behalf of purchasers of the securities of Federal National
Mortgage Association ("Fannie Mae") (NYSE: FNM) between October
11, 2000 and September 22, 2004, inclusive.

The Complaint alleges that Fannie Mae and its officers violated
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Defendants failed to disclose or misrepresented the following
adverse facts:

     (1) Fannie Mae violated GAAP in accounting for derivatives
         transactions and hedging activities;

     (2) Fannie Mae materially understated its accrued cost-of-
         access liability by $50-$80 million;

     (3) Fannie Mae used "cookie jar" accounting by arbitrarily
         distributing current gains to later quarters to keep
         revenue and earnings growth steady;

     (4) Fannie Mae deferred expenses to achieve executive bonus
         targets;

     (5) Fannie Mae had inadequate internal controls; and

     (6) as a result, the Company's net income and financial
         results were materially misstated.

Fannie Mae announced on September 22, 2004, that the Office of
Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight had examined Fannie Mae's
accounting practices and had issued an adverse report, and that
the SEC was conducting an informal inquiry. On September 22,
Fannie Mae shares fell $4.96 per share, or 6.56%, to close at
$70.69 on unusually high trading volume. On September 23, Fannie
Mae shares fell another $3.54 per share, or 5.01%, to close at
$67.15.

For more details, contact Vianale & Vianale's by Phone:
888-657-9960 or visit their Web site: http://www.vianalelaw.com


INTERACTIVECORP: Lerach Coughlin Lodges NY Securities Fraud Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins
LLP ("Lerach Coughlin") initiated a class action in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York on
behalf of all persons who purchased or otherwise acquired
IAC/InterActiveCorp ("IAC") (Nasdaq:IACI) publicly traded
securities during the period between March 19, 2003, and August
4, 2004 (the "Class Period").

Putative class members include investors who received IAC stock
in exchange for their Hotels.com stock (acquired by IAC on June
23, 2003), Expedia stock (acquired by IAC on August 11, 2003),
Ticketmaster.com stock (acquired by IAC on October 2, 2002),
uDate stock (acquired by IAC on April 4, 2003), LendingTree.com
stock (acquired by IAC on August 8, 2003), and Hotwire.com stock
(acquired by IAC on November 5, 2003). These investors are
especially encouraged to contact Lerach Coughlin to ensure the
preservation of rights particular to these investors.

The complaint charges IAC and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934. IAC largely acts as intermediary between suppliers and
consumers, aggregating large blocks of consumer goods and
services (primarily travel-related products such as hotel rooms
and airline tickets) from suppliers and selling them to
consumers over the Internet. IAC's Travel segment's business
model was built on the ability of the Company's majority-owned
subsidiaries, Expedia, Inc. and Hotels.com, to contract with the
major hotel chains for non-exclusive rights to sell hotel room
bookings for the major hotel chains in exchange for a fee.

The complaint alleges that beginning in early 2003, defendants
began to artificially inflate the price of the Company's common
stock in order to decrease the amount of stock IAC would
ultimately have to issue to acquire all of the outstanding
shares of Expedia and Hotels.com that it did not already own,
permitting IAC to use inflated IAC stock as acquisition currency
which would not further dilute defendants' own interests in IAC.
Throughout the Class Period, defendants also caused IAC to spend
over $1.5 billion to repurchase over 47 million shares of its
own common stock to further prop-up the Company's stock price.

The complaint alleges that defendants' statements made in
connection with the announcement of the acquisitions of Expedia,
Hotels.com and LearningTree.com, and with the Company's
financial reports and other statements made throughout the Class
Period, were materially false and misleading because they did
not disclose that:

     (1) certain of the Company's online customers were being
         double-billed for hotel rooms, leading to great
         customer dissatisfaction;

     (2) certain hotel chains were contesting the Company's slow
         payment for hotel room sales made on its Web site and
         were threatening to stop doing business with the
         Company;

     (3) certain of the Company's Web site customers were being
         charged rates exceeding the hotel's public prices,
         leading to further customer dissatisfaction;

     (4) certain IAC hotel customers were dissatisfied with the
         Company's practice of displaying a message on its Web
         sites that all of a particular hotel's rooms were sold
         out when the hotel was not actually sold out;

     (5) the Company had previously been selling a large number
         of hotel rooms and airline seats through more than
         24,000 affiliate Web sites, but since October 2002,
         many of these Web sites were either privately
         threatening and/or actually pursuing litigation against
         the Company, alleging among other things copyright
         infringement and predatory advertising;

     (6) one substantial business partner of Hotels.com,
         Metroguide, had commenced a lawsuit against Hotels.com
         alleging violations of federal copyright law and unfair
         business practices;

     (7) the Company was under-reporting its state and local
         sales tax expenses for some locations; and

     (8) certain hotels and airlines were decreasing the
         Company's allotment of rooms and seats because of the
         Company's bad business practices.

On August 4, 2004, the Company issued its Q2 2004 earnings
release disclosing that its Q2 2004 net income fell 24% from the
same quarter in 2003 and that it was cutting its forecast for
full-year operating profits, admitting that it was being
provided less airline seats and hotel rooms to sell. On this
news the Company's stock plummeted on extremely high volume of
almost 90 million shares. The Company's stock price dropped
precipitously from its Class Period high of $42.74 per share on
July 7, 2003, to close at $22.80 per share on August 4, 2004,
erasing over $10 billion in market capitalization.

For more details, contact William Lerach or Darren Robbins of
Lerach Coughlin by Phone: 800-449-4900 by E-mail:
wsl@lerachlaw.com or visit their Web site:
http://www.lerachlaw.com/cases/iac/


NEW YORK: Marc Henzel Commences Securities Fraud Suit in E.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of New York on behalf of all those who purchased
publicly traded securities of New York Community Bancorp Inc.
(NYSE: NYB) between June 27, 2003 and May 9, 2004, inclusive.

The complaint charges NYB, Joseph R. Ficalora, and Michael P.
Puorro with violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder. NYB serves as the holding company for New York
Community Bank ("the Bank"). The Bank's principal business
consists of accepting retail deposits from the general public in
the areas surrounding its branch offices and investing those
deposits, together with funds generated from operations and
borrowings, into multi-family, commercial real estate, and
construction loans.

More specifically, the complaint alleges that the Company failed
to disclose and misrepresented the following material adverse
facts which were known to defendants or recklessly disregarded
by them:

     (1) that defendants manipulated the Company's financial
         results in order to appear more attractive for
         potential merger deals;

     (2) that this was accomplished through leveraged growth
         funded by short-term funding;

     (3) the Company's projections about growth and interest
         rate sensitivity were lacking in any reasonable basis
         when made; and

     (4) that the Company's financial results were materially
         inflated at all relevant times.

On Sunday, May 9, 2004, NYB announced that its Board of
Directors had authorized the Company's management team to engage
Bear Stearns & Co., Inc., Citigroup Global Markets, Inc., and
Sandler O'Neill & Partners, L.P. to assist the Company in
undertaking a review of its strategic alternatives, including
remaining independent. Commenting on the announcement, defendant
Ficalora stated: "We have always been a company that has focused
on shareholder value, and this review is consistent with that
focus."

News of the engagement of Bear Stearns & Co., Inc., Citigroup
Global Markets, Inc., and Sandler O'Neill & Partners, L.P.
shocked the market. For months, and in numerous interviews,
filings, and press releases, defendant Ficalora maintained that,
given the nature of the Company's business, assets, and
liabilities, NYB would not only do better than its rivals in its
sector, but even thrive in an environment of rising interest
rates. Furthermore, Ficalora stated that NYB's predictions were
based on lower interest rates, and that an interest rate
increase would be good for the company. However, the sudden
engagement of three financial firms to "review strategic
alternatives" was the market's and investors' first indication
that NYB's strategy may not be working as planned or advertised.

Following NYB's announcement, in intra-day trading on Monday,
May 10, 2004, NYB dropped over $2.53 per share from its previous
close, on May 7, 2004, of $24.13 per share, or 10.5%, to close
at a low of $21.60 per share. At the close of trading, NYB had
fallen $1.33 per share, or 5.5%, to close at $21.80 per share on
volume of 9 million shares -- nearly three times its usual
volume.

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


RED HAT: Marc Henzel Commences Securities Fraud Suit in E.D. NC
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of North Carolina on behalf of all persons who
purchased or otherwise acquired the securities of Red Hat, Inc.
(NasdaqNM: RHAT) between December 19, 2003 and July 13, 2004,
inclusive and who were damaged thereby.

The action, is pending against defendants Red Hat, Matthew
Szulik (CEO), Kevin B. Thompson (CFO), Mark Webbink (General
Counsel), Timothy Buckley (former COO) and Paul Cormier (Exec.
VP).

The complaint charges that defendants violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder. Throughout the Class Period, in each
Form 10-Q and Form 10-K filed with the SEC, Defendants falsely
reported that they "ratably" recognized revenue from
subscriptions.

In fact, as the market learned on July 13, it did not.  Instead,
Defendants recognized revenue from subscriptions on a monthly
basis, rather than on a daily basis. For example, if a
subscription was signed on the last day of a month, a full
month's revenue would have been recognized on that day, rather
than a day's worth of revenue. After the auditor within
PriceWaterhouse Cooper rotated, the new auditor required
recognition of revenue from subscriptions on a daily basis as
Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ("GAAP") requires.

This change in accounting practice resulted in Red Hat's having
to restate its financial results for fiscal years 2002, 2003 and
the first quarter of 2004. The restatement, Defendants have
admitted, "is expected to result in significant percentage
differences in certain items such as quarterly operating profit
and net income."

During the short seven month class period, Defendants Buckley
and Szulik sold over $34 million and $37 million respectively,
while the other defendants collectively sold an additional $8
million in Red hat securities. As a result of defendants'
allegedly fraudulent scheme, the price of Red Hat's securities
was artificially inflated, allowing insiders to sell Red Hat's
securities for millions of dollars in proceeds, and causing
plaintiff and other class members to suffer damages.

The Company also announced that the SEC has made an inquiry into
the Company's results as filed in their Form 10-K. On Monday,
June 14, 2004, Red Hat announced unexpectedly that its Chief
Financial Officer ("CFO") was resigning "to pursue other
interests." The Company claims that its restatement is unrelated
to its former CFO's resignation. Red Hat stock plummeted $4.62
or 22.7% per share, losing $600 million in market capitalization
to close at $15.73 per share.

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


REMEC INC.: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman LLP initiated a
class action lawsuit on behalf of purchasers of the securities
of Remec, Inc. ("Remec" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: REMC) between
September 8, 2003 and September 8, 2004 inclusive, (the "Class
Period"), seeking to pursue remedies under the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act").

The action is pending in the United States District Court for
the Southern District of California against defendants Remec,
Inc, Ronald E. Ragland (former Chief Executive Officer) and
Winston Hickman (Chief Financial Officer).

Remec is a designer and manufacturer of high frequency
subsystems used in the transmission of voice, video and data
traffic over wireless communications networks and in space and
defense electronics applications. The Complaint alleges that
during the Class Period, defendants issued quarter after quarter
of improving financial results, including increasing
profitability in the Company's wireless division. Defendants
also filed regular reports with the SEC, certifying that Remec's
financial reporting was accurate and that the Company's internal
controls were adequate. As a result of these statements, Remec
stock traded nearly $12 per share during 2003.

On September 8, 2004, after the market closed, defendants
shocked the market by announcing that Remec would have to take
an enormous goodwill impairment charge of $62.4 million for its
wireless division - the same division that defendants assured
investors was on a path to profitability. The next day, contrary
to their repeated assurances regarding the integrity of Remec's
financial controls, defendants revealed that the Company had
identified "potential control deficiencies" and that certain tax
authorities were reviewing the Company's tax filings. As a
result of these announcements, Remec stocked plunged to only
$4.21 per share, and has lost more than 50% of its value.

For more details, contact Steven G. Schulman by Mail: One
Pennsylvania Plaza, 49th fl., New York, NY 10119-0165 by Phone:
(800) 320-5081 or by E-mail: sfeerick@milbergweiss.com OR Maya
Saxena or Joseph E. White III by Mail: 5355 Town Center Road
Suite 900, Boca Raton, FL 33486 by Phone: (561) 361-5000 by E-
mail: msaxena@milbergweiss.com or visit their Web site:
http://www.milbergweiss.com


REMEC INC.: Schatz & Nobel Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit CA
-------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schatz & Nobel, P.C. initiated a lawsuit seeking
class action status has been filed in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of California on behalf of all
persons who purchased the publicly traded securities of Remec
Inc. (Nasdaq: REMC) ("Remec") between September 8, 2003 and
September 8, 2004, inclusive (the "Class Period"). Also included
are all those who acquired Remec's shares through its
acquisition of Paradigm Wireless Systems.

The Complaint alleges that Remec, a designer and manufacturer of
high frequency subsystems used in the transmission of voice,
video and data traffic over wireless communications networks,
and certain of its officers and directors issued materially
false statements. Specifically, defendants issued quarter after
quarter of improving financial results, including increasing
profitability in Remec's wireless division. Defendants also
filed regular reports with the SEC, certifying that Remec's
financial reporting was accurate and that the Company's internal
controls were adequate.

On September 8, 2004, after the market closed, defendants
announced that Remec would have to take an enormous goodwill
impairment charge of $62.4 million for its wireless division --
the same division that defendants assured investors was on a
path to profitability. The next day, contrary to their repeated
assurances regarding the integrity of Remec's financial
controls, defendants revealed that the Company had identified
"potential control deficiencies" and that certain tax
authorities were reviewing the Company's tax filings. On the
next trading day, Remec shares plunged to a close of $4.30 per
share. During the Class Period, Remec stock traded as high as
$12.86 per share.

For more details, contact Schatz & Nobel by Phone:
(800) 797-5499 by E-mail: sn06106@aol.com or visit their Web
site: http://www.snlaw.net


SALESFORCE.COM: Marc Henzel Lodges Securities Lawsuit in E.D. NC
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of North Carolina on behalf of all purchasers
securities of salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE: CRM) from June 21,
2004 through July 21, 2004, inclusive.

The complaint charges that salesforce, Marc R. Benioff, and
Steve Cakebread violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
More specifically, the Complaint alleges that the Company failed
to disclose and misrepresented the following material adverse
facts which were known to defendants or recklessly disregarded
by them that the Company knew or recklessly disregarded the fact
that its revenues and earnings per share were steadily
declining; that the defendants concealed the aforementioned
facts from the investing public in order to boost the price of
the I.P.O., which netted the Company $126 million; and and that
as a consequence of the foregoing, defendants lacked a
reasonable basis for their positive statements about the
Company's growth and progress.

On July 21, 2004, salesforce warned that profit and revenue for
the full year will be lower than expected, and the stock
promptly plunged. Shares of salesforce fell $4.36 per share or
27.15 percent, on July 21, 2004, to close at $11.70 per share.

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


STAAR SURGICAL: Marc Henzel Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NM
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the District of
New Mexico on behalf of all persons who purchased the securities
of STAAR Surgical Company (Nasdaq: STAA) between April 3, 2003
and January 6, 2004 inclusive.  The Complaint names STAAR and
David Bailey, the Company's President and Chief Executive
Officer, 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 Defendants
failed to disclose significant problems with the manufacture of
STAAR's premier product, the ICL (implantable contact lenses),
and injuries resulting from the use of STAAR's products.

On January 6, 2004, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration ("FDA")
website posted a warning letter to the Company, dated December
22, 2003, concerning serious violations of manufacturing
standards and inadequate reporting relating to the ICL. The news
caused the share price of STAAR common stock to fall to $9.22
per share, almost 18% below the previous day's closing price.

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


STONEPATH GROUP: Marc Henzel Lodges Securities Suit in E.D. PA
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania on behalf of all persons who purchased
or acquired securities of Stonepath Group, Inc. (AMEX: STG)
between May 7, 2003 and September 20, 2004, inclusive, seeking
to pursue remedies under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

The Complaint charges Stonepath Group, Inc., Dennis L. Pelino,
Bohn H. Crain, and Thomas L. Scully with violations of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934. More specifically, the
Complaint alleges that the Company failed to disclose and
misrepresented that the Company understated its accrued
purchased transportation liability and related costs of
purchased transportation rendering the Company's Class Period
financial statements materially false and misleading because
they understated the Company's liabilities and expenses, and
overstated the Company's net income and earnings before income,
taxes, depreciation, and amortization ("EBITDA"). As a result of
the above, the Company's reported financial results were in
violation of GAAP.

On September 20, 2004, the Company reported that it intended to
restate its fiscal year 2003 and first and second quarter of
2004 financial statements. As a result of this news, the price
of StonePath stock closed at $0.86 per share (on heavy trading
volume of 4,830,200 shares), a 46% decrease from its close on
September 19, 2004.

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


TECO ENERGY: Lerach Coughlin Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in FL
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins
LLP ("Lerach Coughlin") initiated a class action in the United
States District Court for the Middle District of Florida on
behalf of purchasers of TECO Energy, Inc. ("TECO") (NYSE:TE)
publicly traded securities during the period between October 30,
2001 and February 4, 2003 (the "Class Period").

Putative class members include investors who purchased any of
the securities offered in the following offerings and these
purchasers are especially encouraged to contact Lerach Coughlin
to ensure the preservation of rights particular to these
investors:

Offering Date    Security

01/10/02         9.5% Adjustable Conversion Rate
                 Equity Security Units
06/05/02         TECO Common Stock
10/10/02         TECO Common Stock
05/08/02         6.125% Notes due 05/01/07
05/08/02         7% Notes due 05/01/12
11/15/02         10.5% Notes due 12/01/07
01/02/03         10.5% Notes due 12/01/07 - Exchange Offer

The complaint charges TECO and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934. TECO is a holding company for regulated utilities and
other unregulated businesses.

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants
concealed problems with several independent power plant
construction ventures for which TECO would ultimately be fully
responsible, including the Company's full exposure to the demise
of Enron Corporation and the vulnerability of the Company's
large cash dividend, causing TECO shares to trade at
artificially inflated levels, permitting defendants to sell over
$4.2 million of their own personally held stock and to raise
over $792 million selling equity securities in the capital
markets. Then, through a series of events in late 2002 and early
2003, the Company's complex financing scheme began to unravel as
several of these large projects and their liabilities were "put"
to TECO, moving hundreds of millions of dollars of off-balance
sheet debt onto TECO's balance sheet, resulting in the Company
taking over a billion dollars in impairment charges and causing
the price of its common stock to plummet from a Class Period
high of over $28 per share on April 23, 2002 to below $13 per
share on February 4, 2003, erasing hundreds of millions of
dollars in market capitalization.

For more details, contact William Lerach or Darren Robbins of
Lerach Coughlin by Phone: 800-449-4900 by E-mail:
wsl@lerachlaw.com or visit their Web site:
http://www.lerachlaw.com/cases/tecoenergy/


THORATEC CORPORATION: Marc Henzel Lodges Securities Suit in CA
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Marc S. Henzel initiated a securities class
action in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of California on behalf of purchasers of Thoratec
Corporation (NASDAQ:THOR) publicly traded securities during the
period between April 28, 2004 and June 29, 2004.

The complaint charges Thoratec and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934.  Thoratec is the leading supplier of implantable heart
pumps and left ventricular assist devices.  The Company
manufactures these circulatory support products for use by
patients with congestive heart failure, including "end-stage"
patients. Traditionally these products have been used in such
patients as a "bridge to transplant," for patients awaiting a
heart transplant. In contrast, "Destination Therapy," or
permanent support, is the Company's flagship new treatment
option for patients with end-stage heart failure

The Company claims that its HeartMate XVE ("HeartMate") is an
approved ventricular assist device designed to provide permanent
support for these patients.  The Complaint alleges that during
the Class Period, defendants made a number of false and
misleading statements regarding expected sales and the market
for the HeartMate as a "Destination Therapy" treatment for end-
stage heart failure patients.  As a result of these statements,
Thoratec's stock traded at artificially inflated levels and
defendants were able to complete a $143.7 million note offering.

According to the complaint, during the Class Period defendants
knew but concealed from the investing public the following
adverse material facts:

     (1) even as the Company estimated that as many as 100,000
         patients per year in the U.S. could be helped by their
         new Destination Therapy treatment option, the actual
         "true" market for the product was far less than
         claimed, as it was severely constrained by limited
         reimbursement dollars available under Medicare and
         Medicaid service guidelines;

     (2) although the defendants claimed that there were
         approximately 900 hospital centers in the U.S.
         qualified for the practice of Destination Therapy and
         implantation of the HeartMate, in fact less than 75
         centers have been designated as Medicare-approved for
         Destination Therapy;

     (3) Medicare had rigid preset reimbursement guidelines and
         schedules for Destination Therapy that could only
         translate into a serious negative impact on the
         Company's FY2004 sales projections for the HeartMate;

     (4) cardiothorasic surgeons were rejecting and/or not
         accepting the HeartMate as a viable device for
         Destination Therapy patients because of issues with the
         device's reliability in a long-term setting;

     (5) the demand for the Company's Destination Therapy
         implants was not growing at the rate claimed;

     (6) the Company's Destination Therapy implant estimate for
         FY2004 of between 300 to 500 pumps was grossly
         overstated and was internally projected to be a
         fraction of this estimate;

     (7) the Company's FY2004 projections of $190-$200 million
         were overstated by tens of millions of dollars;

     (8) not only were CMS reimbursement charges delaying the
         number of implants, implantation centers and medical
         professionals had delayed any significant expansion of
         the existing implant programs until after October 1,
         2004 (the expected date of the availability of a
         significant increase in the CMS reimbursement rate);
         and

     (9) sales of the HeartMate implants would be depressed
         until Q4 2004, and as a result, the Company's earnings
         shortfall experienced in Q1 2004 (versus Q4 2003 and Q1
         2003) would not be made up for nearly one year, until
         Q1 2005, at best.

On June 29, 2004, after the market closed, Thoratec released its
preliminary results for the quarter ended June 30, 2004. These
results were much worse than previous forecasts. On this news
the price of Thoratec stock dropped precipitously to $10.74 per
share, a drop of more than 25% from the previous day's close, on
extraordinarily heavy volume of over 11 million shares.

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


TOMMY HILFIGER: Lerach Coughlin Lodges Securities Lawsuit in NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins
LLP initiated a class action lawsuit in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf
of purchasers of Tommy Hilfiger Corp. ("Tommy Hilfiger" or the
"Company") (NYSE:TOM) publicly traded securities during the
period between November 3, 1999 and September 24, 2004 (the
"Class Period").

The complaint charges Tommy Hilfiger and certain of its officers
and directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934. Tommy Hilfiger, through its subsidiaries, designs, sources
and markets men's and women's sportswear, jeanswear and
childrenswear under the Tommy Hilfiger trademarks.

The complaint alleges that, throughout the Class Period,
defendants issued numerous statements and filed quarterly and
annual reports with the United States Securities and Exchange
Commission regarding the Company's current financial performance
and future earnings. As alleged in the complaint, these
statements were materially false and misleading because
defendants knew, but failed to disclose:

     (1) that the Company had engaged in an improper tax
         avoidance scheme whereby it shifted certain of its
         income to lower tax jurisdictions through the
         overpayment of commissions to one of its non-U.S.
         subsidiaries;

     (2) that, since at least 1999, the Company's reported
         income tax liability had been materially understated;
         and

     (3) as a result of the foregoing, the Company's effective
         tax rate would now be significantly higher and the
         Company will likely have to pay back taxes and fines in
         excess of $100 million.

On September 24, 2004, after the close of the market for regular
trading, the Company disclosed that it had received a grand jury
subpoena issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern
District of New York seeking documents related to commissions
paid by the Company to one of its non-U.S. subsidiaries.
According to the press release, "the investigation is focused on
whether the commission rate is appropriate." In response to this
announcement, on September 27, 2004, the next trading day,
shares of Tommy Hilfiger common stock fell to an intra-day low
of $9.75 per share, before closing down $2.87 per share for the
day, or almost 22%, at $10.30 per share.

For more details, contact William Lerach or Darren Robbins of
Lerach Coughlin by Phone: 800-449-4900 by E-mail:
wsl@lerachlaw.com or visit their Web site:
http://www.lerachlaw.com/cases/tommyhilfiger/


TOMMY HILFIGER: Murray Frank Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Murray, Frank & Sailer LLP initiated a class
action lawsuit in the Southern District of New York on behalf of
a class (the "Class") consisting of all persons who purchased or
otherwise acquired the securities of Tommy Hilfiger Corporation
("Tommy Hilfiger" or the "Company") (NYSE:TOM) between November
3, 1999 and September 24, 2004, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Tommy Hilfiger, Joel J. Horowitz, Joseph
Scirocco, Joel H. Newman, Silas K.F. Chou, Lawrence S. Stroll,
James P. Reilly, and David F. Dyer with violations of Sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule
10b-5 promulgated thereunder. More specifically, the complaint
alleges that the Company failed to disclose and misrepresented
the following material adverse facts, which were known to
defendants or recklessly disregarded by them:

     (1) that the defendants shifted profits to lower-tax
         jurisdictions by paying buying-agency commissions to
         other Tommy Hilfiger subsidiaries;

     (2) more specifically, the defendants reported revenue
         generated in the United States as if it were earned in
         a foreign division, thereby effectively lowering the
         Company's tax rate;

     (3) that as a result of this, the Company's financial
         results were in violation of generally accepted
         accounting principles ("GAAP");

     (4) that the Company lacked adequate internal controls; and

     (5) that as a result of the above, the Company's financial
         results were materially inflated at all relevant times.

On September 24, 2004, after the market closed, Tommy Hilfiger
announced that Tommy Hilfiger U.S.A., Inc. ("THUSA"), a wholly
owned subsidiary of Tommy Hilfiger, had received a grand jury
subpoena issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern
District of New York seeking documents generally relating to
THUSA's domestic and/or international buying office commissions
since 1990. Certain of THUSA's current and former employees had
also received subpoenas. According to the Company, THUSA pays
buying office commissions to a non-U.S. subsidiary of Tommy
Hilfiger to provide or otherwise secure certain services,
including product development, sourcing, production scheduling
and quality control functions. It appears that the investigation
is focused on whether the commission rate is appropriate.

News of this shocked the market. On September 27, 2004, shares
of Tommy Hilfiger fell $2.87 per share, or 21.79 percent, to
close at $10.30 per share on unusually high trading volume.

For more details, contact Eric J. Belfi or Aaron D. Patton of
Murray, Frank & Sailer LLP by Phone: (800) 497-8076 or (212)
682-1818 by Fax: (212) 682-1892 or by E-mail:
info@murrayfrank.com


TOMMY HILFIGER: Schatz & Nobel Files Securities Fraud Suit in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schatz & Nobel, P.C. initiated a lawsuit seeking
class action status in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York on behalf of all persons who
purchased the publicly traded securities of the Tommy Hilfiger
Corporation (NYSE: TOM) ("Tommy Hilfiger") between November 3,
1999 and September 24, 2004, inclusive (the "Class Period").
Also included are all those who acquired Tommy Hilfiger's shares
through its acquisition of TH International.

The Complaint alleges that Tommy Hilfiger and certain of its
officers and directors issued materially false statements.
Specifically, the Company failed to disclose the following
facts:

     (1) that the defendants shifted profits to lower-tax
         jurisdictions by paying buying-agency commissions to
         other Tommy Hilfiger subsidiaries;

     (2) the defendants reported revenue generated in the United
         States as if it were earned in a foreign division,
         thereby effectively lowering the Company's tax rate;

     (3) that as a result, the Company's financial results were
         in violation of generally accepted accounting
         principles ("GAAP"); and

     (4) that as a result of the foregoing, the Company's
         financial results were materially inflated at all
         relevant times.

On September 24, 2004, Tommy Hilfiger announced that Tommy
Hilfiger U.S.A., Inc. ("THUSA"), a wholly owned subsidiary of
Tommy Hilfiger, had received a grand jury subpoena issued by the
U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York
seeking documents generally relating to THUSA's domestic and/or
international buying office commissions since 1990. Certain of
THUSA's current and former employees had also received
subpoenas. On this news, shares of Tommy Hilfiger fell $2.87 per
share, or 21.79%, to close at $10.30 per share on September 27,
2004.

For more details, contact Schatz & Nobel by Phone:
(800) 797-5499 by E-mail: sn06106@aol.com or visit their Web
site: http://www.snlaw.net


TOMMY HILFIGER: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Securities Suit in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York on behalf of all securities
purchasers of the Tommy Hilfiger Corporation (NYSE: TOM) ("Tommy
Hilfiger" or the "Company") from November 3, 1999 through
September 24, 2004, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Tommy Hilfiger, Joel J. Horowitz, Joseph
Scirocco, Joel H. Newman, Silas K.F. Chou, Lawrence S. Stroll,
James P. Reilly, and David F. Dyer with violations of Sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule
10b-5 promulgated thereunder. More specifically, the complaint
alleges that the Company failed to disclose and misrepresented
the following material adverse facts, which were known to
defendants or recklessly disregarded by them:

     (1) that the defendants shifted profits to lower-tax
         jurisdictions by paying buying-agency commissions to
         other Tommy Hilfiger subsidiaries;

     (2) more specifically, the defendants reported revenue
         generated in the United States as if it were earned in
         a foreign division, thereby effectively lowering the
         Company's tax rate;

     (3) that as a result of this, the Company's financial
         results were in violation of generally accepted
         accounting principles ("GAAP");

     (4) that the Company lacked adequate internal controls; and

     (5) that as a result of the above, the Company's financial
         results were materially inflated at all relevant times.

On September 24, 2004, after the market closed, Tommy Hilfiger
announced that Tommy Hilfiger U.S.A., Inc. ("THUSA"), a wholly
owned subsidiary of Tommy Hilfiger, had received a grand jury
subpoena issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern
District of New York seeking documents generally relating to
THUSA's domestic and/or international buying office commissions
since 1990. Certain of THUSA's current and former employees had
also received subpoenas. According to the Company, THUSA pays
buying office commissions to a non-U.S. subsidiary of Tommy
Hilfiger Corporation to provide or otherwise secure certain
services, including product development, sourcing, production
scheduling and quality control functions. It appears that the
investigation is focused on whether the commission rate is
appropriate.

News of this shocked the market. On September 27, 2004, shares
of Tommy Hilfiger fell $2.87 per share, or 21.79 percent, to
close at $10.30 per share on unusually high trading volume.

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:
info@sbclasslaw.com


UNITED RENTALS: Schatz & Nobel Files Securities Fraud Suit in CT
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schatz & Nobel, P.C. initiated a lawsuit seeking
class action status in the United States District Court for the
District of Connecticut on behalf of all persons who purchased
the publicly traded securities of United Rentals, Inc. (NYSE:
URI) ("United Rentals") between October 23, 2003 and August 30,
2004, inclusive (the "Class Period"). Also included are all
those who acquired United Rental's shares through its
acquisition of Skyreach Equipment.

The Complaint alleges that United Rentals and certain of its
officers and directors issued materially false statements.
Specifically, United Rentals failed to disclose the following
facts:

     (1) that the Company, in an effort to generate a more
         favorable stock price and raise capital, manipulated
         its financial results through the use of restructuring
         charges, asset writedowns, and debt refinancing;

     (2) that United Rentals improperly delayed recognition of
         bad accounts receivable;

     (3) that as a result of these manipulations, the Company's
         announced financial results were in violation of
         Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ("GAAP"); and

     (4) that the Company's financial results were materially
         inflated at all relevant times.

On August 30, 2004, United Rentals announced that it had
received notice that the SEC was conducting a non-public, fact-
finding inquiry of the company. The notice was accompanied by a
subpoena requesting the production of documents relating to
certain of the Company's accounting records. On this news,
Shares of United Rentals fell $4.39 per share, or 21.53%, to
close at $16.00 per share on August 30, 2004.

For more details, contact Schatz & Nobel by Phone:
(800) 797-5499 by E-mail: sn06106@aol.com or visit their Web
site: http://www.snlaw.net


UNITED RENTALS: Schiffrin & Barroway Files Securities Suit in CT
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
District of Connecticut on behalf of all securities purchasers
of United Rentals, Inc. (NYSE: URI) ("United Rentals" or the
"Company") from October 23, 2003 through August 30, 2004
inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges United Rentals, Wayland R. Hicks, Bradley
S. Jacobs, John N. Milne, and Joseph B. Sherk with violations of
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder. More specifically, the
complaint alleges that the Company failed to disclose and
misrepresented the following material adverse facts which were
known to defendants or recklessly disregarded by them:

     (1) that the Company, in an effort to generate a more
         favorable stock price and raise capital, manipulated
         its financial results through the use of restructuring
         charges, asset writedowns, and debt refinancing;

     (2) that the Company improperly delayed recognition of bad
         accounts receivable;

     (3) that as a result of these manipulations, the Company's
         announced financial results were in violation of
         Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ("GAAP"); and

     (4) that the Company's financial results were materially
         inflated at all relevant times.

On August 30, 2004, United Rentals announced that it had
received notice that the SEC was conducting a non-public, fact-
finding inquiry of the company. The notice was accompanied by a
subpoena requesting the production of documents relating to
certain of the Company's accounting records. News of this
shocked the market. Shares of United Rentals fell $4.39 per
share, or 21.53 percent, to close at $16.00 per share on August
30, 2004 on unusually heavy trading volume.

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:
info@sbclasslaw.com


                            *********


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

Each Friday's edition of the CAR includes a section featuring
news on asbestos-related litigation and profiles of target
asbestos defendants that, according to independent researches,
collectively face billions of dollars in asbestos-related
liabilities.

                            *********


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Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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Copyright 2004.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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