CAR_Public/041014.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Thursday, October 14, 2004, Vol. 6, No. 204

                           Headlines

ABC RESTORATION: FL A.G. Crist Commences Price-Gouging Lawsuit
ADVOCAT INC.: AR A.G. Beebe Files Suit For Mistreatment, Neglect
AGL RESOURCES: Settles Shareholder's Suit Over NUI Acquisition
AIRPORT INN: FL A.G. Crist Launches Lawsuit Over Price-Gouging
ALTON & SOUTHERN: IL AG Files Suit Over September 21 Derailment

ASCONI CORPORATION: Seven Securities Suits Dismissed Voluntarily
BATTAT INC.: Pays $125T Penalty To Settle Reporting Violations
BAYMONT INN: FL A.G. Crist Lodges Unfair Trade Practices Lawsuit
BEAUTY VISIONS: Reaches Pact With FTC Over Deceptive Advertising
CAMP OUT: FL A.G. Crist, State Attorney File Price-Gouging Suit

CENTERPOINT ENERGY: Texas Residents Lodge Overcharging Lawsuit
CHICAGO WHOLESALE: Recalls 3.5T Electric Pictures Due To Hazards
CHIQUOLA FABRICS: Asks TN Court To Dismiss WARN Violations Suit
CHIRON CORPORATION: Shareholder Launches Securities Suit in CA
CONCORD CAMERA: Goodkind Labaton Extends Class Period in FL Suit

DELTA AIRLINES: Keller Rohrback Initiates ERISA Investigation
EUROPE: Urged to Contemplate U.S.-Style Antitrust Suits
EXXON CORPORATION: High Court Declines To Review Certification
EZ RYDER: FL A.G. Crist Commences Price-Gouging, Fraud Lawsuit
FANNIE MAE: U.S. Attorney General Begins Accounting Probe

FINANCIERA GUBERNMENTAL: Telemarketing Scam Suit Filed
FUJITSU CORPORATION: British Dealer Sues Over MPG3xx Hard Drives
IDAHO: ID A.G. Wasden Lauds Supreme Court Do Not Call Law Ruling
INTERSTATE BAKERIES: Recalls White Bread Due To Whey Content
IOWA: Joins Operation Roaming Charge Anti-Telemarketing Program

MEDS-STAT: KS A.G. Kline Sues Over Flu Vaccine Price-Gouging
NISSAN NORTH: G35 Owners File Consumer CA Suit Over Brake Defect
OM GROUP: Confirms Electrical Malfunction At Congo Smelter Joint
SOULFOOD CONCEPTS: SEC Lodges Fraud Complaint V. Firm, President
SPYWARE LITIGATION: FTC Asks Court To Halt Spyware Operations

TELEDRAFT INC.: IA Court Enters Injunction in Consumer Lawsuit
TENG FEI TRADING: Recalls 81T Light Bulbs Due To Fire Hazard
UNITED HOME BUYERS: Civil Justice Lodges MD Consumer Fraud Suit
UNITED STATES: Pro-Gay Group Sues Over "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
UNITED STATES: Progress Reported in Hungarian Holocaust Lawsuit

YUM! BRANDS: Few RGMs Sign On For Pizza Hut Overtime Wage Suit
ZAMBALES BAKERY: Recalls Atchara For Clostridium Contamination

                 New Securities Fraud Cases

APOLLO GROUP: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Securities Suit in AZ
CONVERIUM HOLDING: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Suit in NY
DECODE GENETICS: Bernstein Liebhard Lodges Securities Suit in NY
DIGIMARC CORPORATION: Dyer & Shuman Lodges Securities Suit in OR
FIRST VIRTUAL: Bernstein Liebhard Lodges Securities Suit in CA

INTELLIGROUP INC.: Lerach Coughlin Lodges Securities Suit in NJ
TECO ENERGY: Zwerling Schacter Files Securities Fraud Suit in FL
WET SEAL: Bernstein Liebhard Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in CA

                          *********


ABC RESTORATION: FL A.G. Crist Commences Price-Gouging Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist filed a price gouging
complaint against a Hollywood carpet and interior restoration
company for charging excessively high rates to clean up the
water-damaged homes of Lee County residents that were devastated
by Hurricane Charley.

ABC Restoration, Inc., doing business as "Dr. Dry," sent an
employee on August 16 to assess water damage at the home of a
Lee County couple.  A woman who was house-sitting for the couple
while they stayed at their out-of-state second home during the
hurricane received a quote of $6,500 to $7,500 for Dr. Dry to
repair the couple's porch ceiling and upstairs screens, and to
remove the carpet from a room adjacent to the porch.  The
business removed the carpet, left it on the front lawn, moved
furniture from an upstairs room to the porch and then demanded
$12,000 to complete the remaining work, according to the
Attorney General's complaint.

Dr. Dry also provided a quote of $5,000 to remove furniture and
wet carpeting from the house-sitter's own home nearby.  The
woman gave Dr. Dry authorization to charge her credit card
$5,000 upon completion of the work. Workers placed 10 large fans
and three dehumidifiers in the woman's home and made large holes
in her ceilings to allow for drainage. Dr. Dry then demanded an
additional $6,500 to complete the work, an amount the woman's
credit limit would not allow. At Dr. Dry's suggestion, the woman
contacted her credit card company to have her credit limit
raised in order to meet the payment. On August 19 the woman's
credit card company notified her that Dr. Dry had charged her
card.  Dr. Dry had not completed the agreed-upon work. The
business then refused her request for a refund.

On August 17, Dr. Dry removed approximately 24 square yards of
wet carpet from the home of a North Ft. Myers man. The removal
took approximately one hour to complete, for which the man was
charged a fee of $22 per square yard. The man paid Dr. Dry in
full for this service, which ranges from $3 to $8 per square
yard at standard industry price.

"Florida citizens trying rebuild their lives are relying on the
fair dealing and honest assistance of home renovators," said AG
Crist.  "It is infuriating when we hear about businesses trying
to profit off of someone else's misery. We will vigorously
pursue this complaint."

Florida was in a state of emergency, issued after Hurricane
Charley, when the complaints against Dr. Dry were filed. This
statewide condition makes it unlawful for a business to sell
goods and services at "unconscionable" rates, or prices
significantly higher than regular prices 30 days prior to the
state of emergency. Dr. Dry is charged with violating price
gouging and unfair and deceptive trade practices statutes. The
business could receive civil penalties of $10,000 per violation
per statute, in addition to attorney fees and costs and actual
damages caused to consumers.


ADVOCAT INC.: AR A.G. Beebe Files Suit For Mistreatment, Neglect
----------------------------------------------------------------
Arkansas Attorney General Mike Beebe's office reached a
settlement with Advocat, Inc. of Franklin, Tennessee, operating
in Arkansas as Diversicare Management Services, to resolve a
series of lawsuits and investigations concerning allegations of
mistreatment and neglect at 13 Advocat-operated nursing homes.

Under the terms of the settlement, Advocat will spend $600,000
to install sprinkler systems in Arkansas nursing homes.  In
addition, Advocat will pay $400,000 into the Arkansas Medicaid
Program Trust Fund over the next two years.  The settlement also
includes $300,000 that Advocat is spending on improving staff
training and patient care in its Arkansas facilities.

Attorney General Beebe filed lawsuits earlier this year alleging
mistreatment and neglect of patients at Advocat nursing homes in
Conway, Hot Springs (2 facilities), Malvern, Sheridan and Eureka
Springs.  Additional investigations were also conducted
regarding practices at nursing homes in Camden, Newport,
Pocahontas, Des Arc, Mena, Walnut Ridge and Ash Flat.

The allegations included failure to provide necessary care,
rehabilitation, treatment, supervision and medical services.
The state also alleged that nursing-home staff members failed to
carry out prescribed treatment plans and failed to report health
problems or to report them in a timely fashion.  No individual
staff members were named in the lawsuits.

"These lawsuits were not meant to financially damage Advocat;
they were meant to improve the nursing-home care they provide to
Arkansas residents," AG Beebe said in a satement.  "The last
thing we need is fewer nursing homes operating in our state.
What we do need is to ensure quality care from the centers we
already have."

In addition to allegations of mistreatment and neglect, the
state lawsuits also alleged that some facilities submitted
fraudulent billings to the Arkansas Medicaid Program for care
that was either inadequate or never provided. Advocat does not
admit or acknowledge any violations in their Arkansas nursing-
home facilities.

For questions, contact the Attorney General's Office by Mail:
200 Catlett-Prien Tower Building, 323 Center Street, Little
Rock, AR 72201 by Phone: (501) 682-2341 or 1-(800) 482-8982.
Spanish-speaking consumers can also call (501) 683-3130. TDD
service is available for the hearing-impaired 682-6073.


AGL RESOURCES: Settles Shareholder's Suit Over NUI Acquisition
--------------------------------------------------------------
AGL Resources (NYSE: ATG) and NUI Corporation (NYSE: NUI)
reached an agreement in principle with Green Meadows Partners,
LLP to settle litigation relating to a shareholder class action
complaint filed September 2, 2004.

Green Meadows filed the complaint on behalf of itself and all
others similarly situated, in a civil action against NUI
Corporation, its board of directors, and AGL Resources Inc.

Although AGL Resources believes that the complaint is without
merit, the Company also believes that litigation could delay and
create uncertainty as to its ability to consummate its
acquisition of NUI Corporation, and that such delay and
uncertainty are not in the best interests of AGL Resources and
its shareholders.

The settlement calls for NUI Corporation to provide certain
additional information and disclosures to shareholders, as
reflected in the "Additional Disclosure" section of NUI's proxy
statement supplement that was filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission. In addition, as part of the settlement, NUI
Corporation and AGL Resources will consent to a settlement class
that consists of persons holding shares of NUI common stock at
any time from July 15, 2004 until the date on which the
acquisition is consummated, and AGL Resources will pay
plaintiff's attorney's fees and costs in the amount of $285,000,
with payment of such fees subject to final court approval of the
settlement and such fees and costs, and consummation of the
acquisition. No part of these attorney's fees or costs will be
paid out of monies that would otherwise have been paid to NUI's
shareholders.

The settlement is contingent upon final court approval and the
consummation of the acquisition of NUI Corporation by AGL
Resources.


AIRPORT INN: FL A.G. Crist Launches Lawsuit Over Price-Gouging
--------------------------------------------------------------
Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist filed a price-gouging
suit against Airport Inn, a Sarasota hotel in August, charging
that it improperly inflated prices to Florida consumers seeking
emergency shelter from Hurricane Charley.

The complaint accuses the Airport Inn, located at 8440 N.
Tamiami Trail in Sarasota, of price gouging and deceptive and
unfair trade practices for charging significantly higher prices
than their regular rates as the hurricane threatened Florida.
The civil complaint, which resulted from the work of the
Attorney General's Hurricane Task Force, asserts that the
Airport Inn engaged in "unconscionable, deceptive and unfair"
business practices by charging many patrons more than 80 percent
above the hotel's normal room rate.

"While most Floridians are pitching in to help their fellow
citizens, it is clear that not everyone shares that civic
pride," said AG Crist.  "Those who still consider their
neighbors to be nothing more than 'marks' should think twice."

The complaint against the Airport Inn asserts that numerous
guests, many of them age 60 or older, were charged $75 or $100
for a one-night stay on the night of August 12 or August 13.
For the 30 days prior to Governor Jeb Bush's declaration of a
state of emergency on August 10, rooms at the hotel typically
rented for $55 per night for overnight guests.

The complaint cites an elderly Manatee County couple who paid
$100 for a room so they would not have to spend the night in
their mobile home, even though they checked out by 8:00 p.m.
because Hurricane Charley had made landfall further south.  The
husband and wife were among several guests who reported that the
rooms were in poor condition and dirty, and lacked linens,
electricity or air conditioning.

According to the complaint, on the night before Hurricane
Charley hit Florida approximately nine rooms at the hotel were
rented for $100 or more and approximately seven more were rented
for $75.  One guest who had a reservation for that night at $55
was instead charged $100 plus tax.  On the night of August 13,
more than 20 guest rooms were rented for $100 or more, and
approximately 12 others were rented for $75, the complaint
alleges.

The Attorney General's Office last week sued hotels in West Palm
Beach, Lakeland and Ocala for improperly inflating prices for
rooms sought by consumers fleeing the onslaught of Hurricane
Charley.  The Attorney General's Fraud Prevention Team also
worked with the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office to bring about
the arrest of an out-of-state roofer for operating without a
valid Florida contractor's license.

The civil complaints were filed under Florida's price gouging
statute and the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices
Act. Provisions of the price gouging statute took effect when
Governor Bush declared a state of emergency. The Attorney
General's Office continues to receive complaints at its price
gouging hotline, 1-800-646-0444.

Florida's price gouging statute requires that the cost of
necessities like food, water and shelter must remain at the
price that was average during the 30 days immediately preceding
a major storm like Hurricane Charley. Violations of the price
gouging statute are subject to civil penalties of $1,000 per
violation up to a total of $25,000 for multiple violations
committed in a single 24-hour period. Florida's Deceptive and
Unfair Trade Practices Act provides for civil penalties of
$10,000 per violation or $15,000 for violations that victimize a
senior citizen or handicapped person.


ALTON & SOUTHERN: IL AG Files Suit Over September 21 Derailment
---------------------------------------------------------------
In response to a September 21 derailment at an East St. Louis
switching yard that touched off a fire and spewed hazardous
vapors into the air, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan
filed a lawsuit on October 6 against Alton & Southern Railway
alleging environmental violations and reached an interim
agreement with the company to continue the emergency measures
that have been underway since the accident.

Alton & Southern employees were attempting to connect tankers
carrying highly flammable vinyl acetate when two of the cars
collided, derailed and caught fire. Authorities temporarily
evacuated approximately 140 residents near the Alton & Southern
facility as a precaution against the vapors, smoke and
particulate matter from the blaze that was extinguished by the
late morning of September 22. According to the Illinois
Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), vinyl acetate's
corrosive vapors can cause burns and can be highly irritating to
the eyes, lungs and nose.

"The fire is out based on the hard work of the initial
responders, but the long-term health of residents and the
environment must now be a top priority," AG Madigan said.

According to AG Madigan, the interim agreement requires Alton &
Southern to continue to conduct air monitoring until all on-site
treatment or removal of materials, waste or contaminants
resulting from the vinyl acetate spill has been completed and to
report the findings of the monitoring data. The railroad also
must contain approximately 60,000 to 80,000 gallons of water
contaminated by vinyl acetate during the fire and make
arrangements for temporary storage until its safe disposal is
approved by IEPA.

The agreement also requires Alton & Southern to minimize the
impact of storm water runoff that may be contaminated by
lingering vinyl acetate by submitting a plan that includes
flushing and aeration of storm water in the company's retention
pond. Alton & Southern also must submit a plan to IEPA for soil
and groundwater sampling and a comprehensive remediation plan
based upon such sampling.

The complaint, filed Wednesday in St. Clair County Circuit
Court, seeks a civil penalty of $50,000 per violation and
$10,000 for each day the violations continue for alleged air
pollution and creating a water pollution hazard. According to
the complaint, water used by firefighters to cool the burning
tankers mixed with liquid vinyl acetate and flowed into storm
sewers that lead to the Cahokia drainage system that ultimately
flows into the Mississippi River. A temporary berm to prevent
the runoff from entering an inlet pipe was unable to contain
between 20,000 and 30,000 gallons of vinyl acetate that spilled
onto the unpaved switching yard.

Bureau Chief Thomas Davis is handling the case for Madigan's
Environmental Bureau.


ASCONI CORPORATION: Seven Securities Suits Dismissed Voluntarily
----------------------------------------------------------------
Asconi Corporation (Amex: ACD), an Eastern European producer of
wines and spirits, recently revealed that all securities class
action lawsuits previously filed against it in the United States
District Court for the Middle District of Florida (the "Court"),
have been dismissed in their entirety, without any required
further legal action.

Specifically, seven class action lawsuits have been voluntarily
dismissed without prejudice by the plaintiffs in each respective
case; the eighth class action was dismissed without prejudice by
the Court's Order.

The complaints alleged, among other things, that the Company and
certain executive officers made material misrepresentations and
omissions of material facts concerning the Company's business
performance and financial condition during a period from May
2003 to March 2004.

Asconi made no payment in connection with dismissal of the
lawsuits, and has no obligation to make payments whatsoever to
any plaintiffs or their counsel in connection with the
dismissals. Further, Asconi has no other obligations in
connection with the dismissals.


BATTAT INC.: Pays $125T Penalty To Settle Reporting Violations
--------------------------------------------------------------
A toy manufacturer has agreed to pay a civil penalty to settle
allegations that it did not give the government a timely report
of a safety hazard involving a children's toy. The U.S. Consumer
Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is announcing that Battat Inc.,
of Plattsburgh, N.Y., will pay $125,000 to settle allegations
that it violated federal reporting requirements associated with
its Bee Bop Band Drum Set.

Between November 2001 and January 2003, Battat sold about
300,000 toy drum sets, which included centipede-shaped
drumsticks. The drumstick's rubber end caps, screws connecting
the caps and ball tips could break off into small parts. Small
parts pose a choking hazard to young children. During this
timeframe, the company received over 330 reports from consumers
that the caps, screws and tips were detaching from the
drumstick. There were no reports of injury. Yet, without
informing CPSC, Battat modified the toy six times to try to
eliminate the small parts problem.

By February 2003, CPSC had received 25 reports directly from
consumers. In turn, CPSC called on the company to report to the
Commission, in full. Battat submitted a full report that same
month. Although Battat and CPSC were not able to replicate the
small parts hazard during testing, the firm agreed to conduct a
recall of 300,000 Parents Bee Bop Band drum sets in April 2003.

According to federal law, manufacturers, distributors, and
retailers are required to report to CPSC immediately (within 24
hours) after obtaining information which reasonably supports the
conclusion that a product contains a defect which could create a
substantial risk of injury to the public, presents an
unreasonable risk of serious injury or death, or violates a
federal safety standard.

In agreeing to settle the matter, Battat Inc. denies that the
toy drum sets were defective and that it violated the reporting
requirements of the Consumer Product Safety Act.


BAYMONT INN: FL A.G. Crist Lodges Unfair Trade Practices Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist filed a civil complaint
against the Baymont Inns & Suites in Napels, Florida for price-
gouging and deceptive and unfair trade practices.  The Attorney
General's Office alleges that the hotel charged
"unconscionable," or substantially higher than regular, rates to
consumers seeking a safe place during the brunt of Hurricane
Charley.

This is the fifth price-gouging complaint filed against a
Florida hotel since the state of emergency was declared and the
seventh case filed overall.  "During a state of emergency,
affected citizens need a helping hand, not a hand in their
pocket," said AG Crist.  "We will continue to target price-
gougers from Hurricane Charley and act upon those now being
received following Hurricane Frances."

The inn, located at 185 Bedzel Circle in Naples, reportedly
charged three consumers more at check-out than the price quoted
to them when they made their reservations.  The first consumer,
a Naples resident who evacuated her home on August 13, received
a quote of $53.99 per night.  During check-out three days later,
the hotel charged her 33 percent more, $71.99 for the first two
days, and $89.10 for the third day, or 65 percent above the
quote.  Her protest led to a reduction for the third day charges
to $71.99, but the hotel refused to honor the $53.99 quote for
the first two days.

A second consumer evacuated his Naples home, which had been left
without electricity on August 13.  He sought shelter at Baymont
Inns & Suites, and was charged $93.60 after receiving a 10-
percent AAA discount, despite a quote for rates between $49 and
$64 per night.  The third Naples customer, also left without
power, had reserved a room at Baymont for herself, a friend and
a dog at a quoted rate of $55 per night.  After overhearing that
there had been a price increase, she confronted the front desk
about the matter and was informed that the charge was $99 per
night. The clerk agreed to reduce the price to $79 per night,
still 44 percent higher than the originally quoted price.

The civil complaints were filed under Florida's price-gouging
statute and the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices
Act, which are contained within Chapter 501 of the Florida
Statutes. The price-gouging statute delegates enforcement
authority to the Attorney General and the Florida Department of
Agriculture and Consumer Services, as well as the local state
attorney. The two state agencies are working together to
coordinate the complaints being reported by consumers.

Provisions of the price-gouging statute took effect when
Governor Jeb Bush declared a state of emergency on August 10,
2004. The Attorney General's Office continues to receive
complaints at its price-gouging hotline, 1-800-646-0444. The
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services number is
1-800-435-7352.

Florida's price-gouging statute requires that the cost of
necessities like food, water and shelter must remain at the
price that was average during the 30 days immediately preceding
a major storm like Hurricane Charley. Violations of the price
gouging statute are subject to civil penalties of $1,000 per
violation up to a total of $25,000 for multiple violations
committed in a single 24-hour period. Florida's Deceptive and
Unfair Trade Practices Act provides for civil penalties of
$10,000 per violation or $15,000 for violations that victimize a
senior citizen or handicapped person.


BEAUTY VISIONS: Reaches Pact With FTC Over Deceptive Advertising
----------------------------------------------------------------
A Canadian-based fulfillment company doing business as Beauty
Visions Worldwide and SlimShop, and its principal Robert Van
Velzen, have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
charges that they made false and unsubstantiated weight-loss
claims for two purported weight-loss patches - "Hydo-Gel Slim
Patch" and "Slenderstrip."

Under the terms of the settlement, the defendants are prohibited
from representing, or assisting any other entity in
representing, that Hydro-Gel Slim Patch, Slenderstrip, or any
other weight-loss product causes rapid or substantial weight
loss without the need to diet or exercise.  The defendants also
are required to pay consumer redress.

"Fulfillment companies that are involved in their clients'
misleading advertising can expect to hear from the FTC," said
Lydia Parnes, Acting Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer
Protection, in a statement.  "There is no product on the market
that causes permanent substantial weight loss without diet or
exercise."

In December 2003, the FTC filed a complaint against No. 1025798
Ontario, Inc., doing business as The Fulfillment Solutions
Advantage, Inc., The FSA Group, International Access, Beauty
Visions Worldwide, Slimshop, Hydro-Gel Slim Patch, and
Slenderstrip; and Robert Van Velzen (collectively the FSA
defendants).  The FTC's complaint alleged that the FSA
defendants falsely represented that Hydro-Gel Slim Patch and
Slenderstrip cause rapid and substantial weight loss without
reducing caloric intake or increasing exercise, that these
products work for all users, and that Hydro-Gel Slim Patch
causes permanent weight loss.

In March 2004, the FTC amended its complaint by adding five new
defendants who allegedly also were responsible for the sale and
advertising of the weight-loss patches: Kingstown Associates
Ltd. and BVW Associates, Inc., both doing business as Beauty
Visions Worldwide and Slimshop; and their principals, Gary
Richard Bush, David James Varley, and Laurence Anthony White
(collectively the Kingstown defendants).  According to the FSA
defendants' court filings, their role in the marketing of Hydro-
Gel Slim Patch and Slenderstrip was limited to providing
fulfillment services on behalf of the Kingstown defendants.

The stipulated final order announced today prohibits the FSA
defendants from:

     (1) representing that Hydro-Gel Slim Patch, Slenderstrip,
         or other weight-loss products cause rapid or
         substantial weight loss without the need to diet or
         exercise;

     (2) representing that these products work for all
         overweight users; or

     (3) that these products cause permanent weight loss;

     (4) reliable scientific evidence to substantiate such
         claims; and

     (5) selling, renting, or disclosing the names of purchasers
         of Hydro-Gel Slim Patch and Slenderstrip, or any other
         information about those customers.

The settlement requires the FSA defendants to pay $72,422 for
consumer redress, and it contains a $1,422,481 avalanche clause,
which would become effective if the court were to find that the
FSA defendants misrepresented their financial situation.

Finally, the settlement contains a provision requiring the FSA
defendants to provide assistance in the ongoing litigation
against the Kingstown defendants, as well as record keeping
provisions to assist the FTC in monitoring the defendants'
compliance.

The Commission vote authorizing staff to file the proposed
stipulated final order was 5-0. The stipulated final order was
filed in the U.S. District Court, Western District of New York,
on September 15, 2004, and signed by the judge on September 20,
2004. This stipulated final order is for settlement purposes
only and does not constitute an admission by the FSA defendants
of a law violation.

For more information, visit FTC's Web site: http://www.ftc.gov
or contact Brenda Mack, Office of Public Affairs by Phone:
202-326-2182 or Richard Cleland or David Koehler of the Bureau
of Consumer Protection by Phone: 202-326-3088 or 202-326-3627


CAMP OUT: FL A.G. Crist, State Attorney File Price-Gouging Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist and First Judicial
Circuit State Attorney Curtis Golden filed a price gouging civil
suit against a Miami-based gas and generator distributor
operating in Santa Rosa County in the aftermath of Hurricane
Ivan.  Among the items offered for sale by Camp Out, Inc. was a
gasoline can prominently priced at $169.95.

Camp Out sent three employees into the Florida Panhandle to sell
overpriced gas cans and generators from a roadside trailer in
Milton. They sold gas cans manufactured by Blitz, Inc. for
$169.95 each, even though the suggested retail price is less
than $54, a markup of more than 200%. They also sold overpriced
generators, including Dek models for $1,995 - more than 300%
above the manufacturer's actual retail price of $450 - and Titan
models for $2,750, which is nearly double the manufacturer's
actual retail price of $1,595.

"These are among the most brazen attempts to abuse storm victims
we have seen yet," said AG Crist.  "It takes utter contempt for
one's fellow citizens to not only gouge the price of generators,
but also the costs of obtaining fuel to run those generators."

The suit alleges that Camp Out's sales violate Florida's price-
gouging and unfair and deceptive business trade statutes.
Attorney General Crist and State Attorney Golden have asked the
court to enjoin Camp Out, Inc., from selling generators or gas
cans for prices that exceed the manufacturer's suggested retail
price. The Company is also being required to provide the
Attorney General's Office on demand with documents to establish
the suggested retail price or the cost of the goods being sold.

Camp Out is charged with violating the price gouging statute,
which carries a maximum fine of $1,000 for each occurrence and a
violating the unfair and deceptive trade practices statute,
which carries a penalty of $10,000 - which grows to $15,000 if
any victims are over the age of 60.

In a separate matter, Crist announced the settlement of a price-
gouging and unfair trade practices investigation involving
Monarch Drapery & Carpet Cleaning Company doing business as Coit
Services of South Florida and Coit Drapery & Carpet Cleaners.
The investigation revealed that Coit sent trucks into several
South Florida neighborhoods in search of damaged homes.

Consumers who agreed to employ its services were charged an
emergency fee of between $60 and $100, even though they had not
solicited the Company's business. The Company warned consumers
of "black mold" to heighten the sense of urgency surrounding the
need for its services. Coit allegedly informed one customer that
black mold "could kill her" if the wet carpet was not
immediately removed.

The settlement calls for complete reimbursement of slightly more
than $3,000 to four consumers. The company is also required to
pay $10,000 in attorney costs and fees over a period of 90 days.

In addition, Coit must refrain from charging emergency call fees
when it solicits consumers; must refrain from making statements
about the potential health dangers of black mold other than that
a wet carpet might mold, causing a possible health risk; and
must refrain from conducting business in violation of price
gouging or unfair and deceptive trade practices statutes.

"Sometimes it is possible to help consumers obtain refunds
without a lengthy legal battle and this case is a good example,"
said Crist. "In addition, taxpayers dollars used to bring this
action have been returned to the state and any future violations
have been prevented."


CENTERPOINT ENERGY: Texas Residents Lodge Overcharging Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Weldon Johnson of Miller County and Guy W. Sparks of Bowie
County initiated a class-action lawsuit in Texarkana against
Centerpoint Energy Inc. and other natural gas suppliers accusing
them of overcharging residential customers on both sides of the
state line and in several states, the Texarkana Gazette reports.

The suit against the gas companies, which was filed in Miller
County Circuit Court, alleges violations of fraud, unjust
enrichment and civil conspiracy concerning the cost of natural
gas delivered to customers.  Circuit Judge Jim Hudson was
assigned the case that includes customers from Arkansas, Texas,
Louisiana, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Minnesota.

Centerpoint is the successor company after a series of mergers
with Arkansas-Louisiana Gas Co., the longtime natural gas
provider for the Texarkana region.  According to the lawsuit the
issues of the case come down to:

     (1) whether Centerpoint Energy and the other companies
         artificially inflated the natural gas commodity costs
         that were passed on to customers.

     (2) whether Centerpoint Energy and the other companies
         passed on to its customers fraudulently inflated costs
         for natural gas.

     (3) whether Centerpoint Energy and the other companies
         misrepresented to its customers that it acquired
         natural gas for sale to customers at the best possible
         price.

The law firms of Nix, Patterson & Roach, Patton, Roberts,
McWilliams, Greer & Capshaw and Keil and Goodson are taken on
the gas companies.


CHICAGO WHOLESALE: Recalls 3.5T Electric Pictures Due To Hazards
----------------------------------------------------------------
Chicago Wholesale & Imports, of Bridgeview, Illinois is
cooperating with the United States Consumer Product Safety
Commission by voluntarily recalling about 3,500 Electric
Pictures (Moveable Waterfall Pictures)

These pictures have inadequate construction, incorrect wiring,
and use flammable materials, all of which pose fire and electric
shock hazards to consumers. Chicago Wholesale & Imports has not
received any reports of incidents. This recall is being
conducted to prevent the possibility of injuries.

The recalled electric pictures are framed artwork that utilizes
electric lights and sound and feature moving background scenes,
including waterfalls and beach scenes. The paintings come with
wooden, glass mirror, or plastic frames. The pictures come in
seven different sizes: 180cm x 112cm, 148cm x 98cm, 118cm x
74cm, 98cm x 48cm, 65cm x 45cm, 26cm x 20cm, and 25cm x 25cm.

Manufactured in China, the electric pictures were sold at flea
markets and dollar stores in the Midwest, primarily in the
Chicago area, from April 2003 through April 2004 for between $20
and $150 (depending on the size).

Consumer should stop using the electrical components to the
pictures immediately and return them to Chicago Wholesale &
Imports for a refund.

Consumer Contact: For information on returning the picture,
consumers should call Chicago Wholesale & Imports toll-free at
(866) 885-1986 between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. CT Monday through
Friday or log on to the company's Web site at
http://www.getyourscooter.com


CHIQUOLA FABRICS: Asks TN Court To Dismiss WARN Violations Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Chiquola Fabrics is asking Tennessee court to dismiss a lawsuit
filed on behalf of several former workers who alleged they were
illegally laid off in September 2003, when the factory closed,
island packet online reports.

William Jordan filed the suit on behalf of six former factory
workers.  The suit alleges that the Company violated the Worker
Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act by failing to give
employees at least sixty days notice of the facility's closing.
The suit further alleges that the laid-off employees were not
given severance packages or health insurance when the factory
closed, and seeks lost pay and benefits.  The suit seeks
restitution from Chiquola Fabrics and its owner, Marvin Fuller.

Chiquola Fabrics, owned by Chiquola Industrial Products
investment group in Honea Path, S.C., acquired the Tennessee
plant from JPS Industries in 1999 and continued making cotton
fabrics used in athletic tape, book bindings and other products,
island packet online reports.

According to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce,
federal law requires a company to give a 60-day notice if 100 or
more employees are affected by a layoff or plant closure.  State
law requires a 60-day notification if 50 or more employees are
affected.  The agency said workers must find a remedy in the
courts if the law is broken.

Last week, U.S. District Judge Henry Floyd denied Mr. Jordan's
motion to certify class action status for the lawsuit - a step
that would have allowed the lawsuit to include all the former
Kingsport employees as plaintiffs.

Mr. Jordan told island packet online he will try again to get
all affected workers included.  "The judge denied the motion the
way it was drafted. I think he thought it was too broadly
drafted," Mr. Jordan said.  "We'll renew (the motion for class
certification) at a later date."

The employees are seeking lost wages, commissions, bonuses,
accrued holiday and vacation pay, pension and 401(k)
contributions, and health insurance for 60 working days - all of
which Jordan argues is recoverable under the WARN Act.  "The
next step is to take depositions in the case, and hopefully (the
case) will be resolved sometime next year," Jordan said.

The Company said it took every step it could to avoid the short-
notice shutdown.  "Chiquola reasonably and in good faith
believed that giving the WARN notice would have precluded it
from obtaining the needed capital and business," Charles Whiten,
attorney for Chiquola, wrote in court documents, island packet
online reports.  "The plant closing was caused by business
circumstances that were not reasonably foreseeable."


CHIRON CORPORATION: Shareholder Launches Securities Suit in CA
--------------------------------------------------------------
A lawsuit seeking class action status has been filed against
Chiron Corp. of Emeryville in San Francisco federal court over
its alleged failure to disclose problems that led to the
suspension of its British license to make flu vaccine, the
FoxReno.com reports.

Filed by shareholder Richard Gregory on behalf of all investors
who bought Chiron stock between January 12 and October 4, the
suit claims that misleading statements and news releases by
Chiron resulted in artificially inflated stock prices and caused
investors to lose money.

According to the suit, on October 4 the United Kingdom's
Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency suspended
Chiron's license to make its flu vaccine, Fluvirin, at its
Liverpool plant for three months because of contamination
concerns.

As a result of the suspension Chiron won't be able to produce
its planned 46 to 48 million flu shots this year, which has led
to the rationing of the flu shots.

In addition to the company, Chief Executive Officer Howard Pien,
Vice President John Lambert and Chief Financial Officer David
Smith are also named as defendants in the suit.

The suit alleges the Company and three officers violated U.S.
securities law by authorizing misleading news releases and other
reports. News releases that according to the plaintiffs failed
to disclose the inadequacy of equipment and staff training at
the Liverpool plant and that the vaccine manufacturing process
was allegedly "out of control with respect to microbial and
sterility limits for quality assurance testing."

The lawsuit, which seeks financial compensation for Mr. Gregory
and, if the class is certified, for other shareholders as well
was assigned to U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker.


CONCORD CAMERA: Goodkind Labaton Extends Class Period in FL Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Goodkind Labaton Rudoff & Sucharow LLP extended
the class period in the shareholders' litigation filed against
Concord Camera Corporation (NASDAQ:LENS).

On October 12, 2004, Goodkind Labaton Rudoff & Sucharow filed a
class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of Florida on behalf of persons who purchased
or otherwise acquired publicly traded securities of Concord
between August 14, 2003 and October 4, 2004, inclusive, (the
"Class Period"). The lawsuit was filed against Ira B. Lampert,
Harlan Press, Richard M. Finkbeiner and Concord. ("Defendants").
Previously filed suits had alleged a class period of August 14,
2003 to May 10, 2004.

On October 4, 2004, the Company announced in a Form 8-K filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that its
auditors had noted material weaknesses in Concord's financial-
statement close process, and material deficiencies in the
Company's inventory evaluation, revenue recognition and reserve
and allowance processes.

The complaint alleges that Defendants issued materially false
and misleading statements regarding the Company's financial
position. Specifically, the complaint alleges that Concord's
inventory levels were materially inflated, that Concord's
financials were impacted by significant inventory provisions,
and that Concord's net loss was artificially deflated through
the application of manufacturing labor and overhead costs to
inventory. The complaint also alleges the Company improperly
recognized revenue during the Class Period.

For more details, contact Christopher Keller, Esq. by Phone:
800-321-0476 or visit their Web site:
http://www.glrs.com/get/?case=Concord


DELTA AIRLINES: Keller Rohrback Initiates ERISA Investigation
-------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Keller Rohrback LLP commenced an investigation
against Delta Air Lines, Inc. ("Delta" or the "Company")
(NYSE:DAL) for violations of the Employee Retirement Income
Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"). The investigation focuses on
investments in Company stock by the Delta Family Care Savings
Plan (the "Plan") between September 15, 2000 and the present
(the "Class Period").

Keller Rohrback's investigation focuses on concerns that Delta
and other fiduciaries for the Plan may have breached their
ERISA-mandated fiduciary duties of loyalty and prudence by

     (1) failing to prudently and loyally manage the Plan's
         assets by imprudently investing a significant amount of
         the Plan's assets in Delta stock;

     (2) failing to monitor and provide fiduciary appointees
         with information that the appointing fiduciaries knew
         or should have known that the monitored fiduciaries
         needed in order to prudently manage the Plan's assets;

     (3) failing to provide complete and accurate information to
         participants and beneficiaries; and

     (4) breaching their duty to avoid conflicts of interest.

For more details, contact Jennifer Tuato'o, Paralegal of Keller
Rohrback LLP by Phone: (800) 776-6044 by E-mail:
investor@kellerrohrback.com or visit their Web sites:
http://www.erisafraud.comor http://www.seattleclassaction.com


EUROPE: Urged to Contemplate U.S.-Style Antitrust Suits
--------------------------------------------------------
European Antitrust Commissioner Mario Monti says Europe should
consider allowing U.S.-style private lawsuits to help it enforce
its antitrust laws, Bloomberg.com reports.

Mr. Monti is in New York to attend an antitrust conference at
Fordham University School of Law.  He has handled the
commission, the European Union's Brussels-based regulatory arm,
for five years.  Under his term, the Commission handed greater
control over antitrust laws to national courts, partly in a bid
to allow private citizens and companies to obtain damages, a
remedy that's currently unavailable through the European Court
of Justice, the EU's highest court.  Mr. Monti's term ends on
October 31,2004.

The Commission is currently opposing a request by an Austrian
consumers association in the European Court of First Instance in
Luxembourg.  The group is seeking access to its files on the
Lombard bank cartel case, where a group of Austrian and German
banks were fined for price-fixing.  The consumer body says it
needs the files to successfully sue the banks for damages,
Bloomberg.com reports.

Almost 90 percent of antitrust enforcement in the U.S. is
through private civil suits, compared with almost none in the
European Union.  Litigation by customers has forced companies
such as Microsoft Corporation, the world's largest software
maker, to settle claims and allowed businesses such as Coca-Cola
Co. win damages for price-fixing violations.

"We have been looking in many cases to the U.S. experience, not
necessarily imitating them wholesale but looking at what is good
in them," Mr. Monti said in an interview in New York,
Bloomberg.com states.  "We believe it is possible, indeed
necessary, to go some way toward the U.S. system."

Mr. Monti, however, also advised the EU to avoid some aspects of
the U.S. system, such as excessive class action suits.  He also
acknowledged a possible conflict between seeking to encourage
private litigation and simultaneously promoting whistle- blowing
and leniency programs that encourage companies to produce
incriminating information that may subsequently lead to a
lawsuit.

"Supplying that information has a huge advantage of implying
immunity from fines, and that is a big incentive, which will
remain," Mr. Monti said, according to Bloomberg.com.  "In the
U.S. we can see the healthy co- existence between private
enforcement and leniency."

He added that the European Commission may have to provide more
access to its files to potential litigants to encourage
litigation, although "there will have to be limitations."

Francois Souty, counsel for international affairs at the French
Competition Council, told Bloomberg.com the commission will have
to work toward ensuring some sort of coherence in European
litigation if it is to achieve its goal.  At present, the
discrepancies between access to litigation and to the type of
penalties applied to breaches of antitrust rules will inhibit
the development of private enforcement.

"He may have to think in terms of changing Europe-wide laws, or
at least defining what should be the bottom line in terms of the
results that can be achieved through national courts," Mr. Souty
told Bloomberg.com.


EXXON CORPORATION: High Court Declines To Review Certification
--------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Supreme Court declined to accept Exxon Corporation's
appeal of class certification in a $1.3 billion class action
case brought by its dealers.

The Supreme Court accepted review only on the limited question
of whether the trial court had jurisdiction over individual
class member claims worth less than $50,000 at the time the case
was filed in 1991, explained Eugene Stearns, an attorney for the
claimants. The Court will analyze whether the Eleventh Circuit
correctly sided with the majority of circuits in finding that
the smaller claims could properly be brought in federal court.

The Court consolidated the appeal with another case posing a
related issue, Ortega v. Star-Kist Foods Inc., in which the 1st
Circuit found that the mother of a girl who cut her hand on a
can of tuna fish could not pursue her claim against Star-Kist
Foods in federal court along with her daughter's claim.

The Supreme Court's decision to limit review to the question of
jurisdiction means that the great majority of class members'
claims can be processed and paid, said Stearns of Stearns Weaver
Miller. If all dealers recover, the total amount could exceed
$1.3 billion, which was the largest compensatory jury verdict
ever awarded in Florida at the time of the ruling.

Stearns, an attorney for the claimants, commented: "This is
great news for thousands of dealers who have been waiting a long
time for the money that is owed to them. The end nears. Only a
small percentage of the money owed by Exxon is impacted by the
Supreme Court's review of the jurisdiction issue. With respect
to that issue, we believe the Supreme Court will adopt the view
of the majority of circuit courts which have addressed the issue
and will affirm Judge Gold's order."

The case involves current or former direct-served gas station
dealers who owned or operated an Exxon service station between
March 1, 1983 and August 28, 1994, and had one or more Sales
Agreements with Exxon.

At a February 2001 trial in Miami federal court, the class
proved to a jury that Exxon Corporation overcharged its service
station owners for the wholesale price of motor fuel for 11
years and then fraudulently concealed the overcharges. The
Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals later affirmed the verdict and
orders of the trial court.

The claims deadline is December 1, 2004. Attorneys for the class
hope that claims can begin to be paid in Spring 2005.

"Thousands of dealers and their families throughout the country
still need to file their claims," said Stearns. "The average
claim is more than $130,000. We are urging all potential
claimants, including the heirs of deceased dealers, to step
forward and file claims by the December 1, 2004 deadline."

Although every effort has been made to notify all class members,
many station dealers or their heirs are unaware that they are
entitled to thousands of dollars that are rightfully theirs, he
added. In situations where the dealer has died, the right to
make a claim passes to the dealer's heirs.

For more details, contact Eugene E. Stearns, Esq. or Mark
Dikeman of Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson,
P.A. by Phone: (305) 789-3200 OR Sidney M. Pertnoy, Esq. of
Pertnoy, Solowsky & Allen, P.A. by Phone: (305) 371-2223 OR Toni
Splichal of Wragg & Casas Public Relations by Phone:
(305) 372-1234 OR Garden City Group - Claims Administrator by
Phone: 888-769-7759 or visit their Web site:
http://www.exxondealerclassaction.comOR contact the class
counsel by Phone: 800-810-3590 or visit their Web site:
http://www.exxondealerattorneys.com


EZ RYDER: FL A.G. Crist Commences Price-Gouging, Fraud Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist filed a price gouging
complaint against a Volusia County man selling overpriced
generators.  Gary D. Altman Sr., operator of E Z Ryder Scooters
and E Z Ryder Motors, is accused of charging unconscionable
prices and deceiving consumers about the true value of the
generators he offered for sale.

As investigators looked into a complaint received by the
Attorney General's Price-Gouging Hotline, they became aware that
E Z Ryder and Altman were under criminal investigation by the
office of Volusia County Sheriff Ben F. Johnson. The two
agencies then began to work cooperatively on the case.

"The price-gouging statute does not forbid making a profit, but
it does forbid profiteering," said AG Crist.  "In this case,
consumers were deceived at a time when they needed necessary
items such as generators. I congratulate Sheriff Johnson and his
team and we are pleased to have had the opportunity to work
together on behalf of the people of Florida. We pledge the same
cooperation to local authorities in the Florida Panhandle
following Hurricane Ivan."

Sheriff's investigators observed Altman as he sold generators
from the back of a pickup truck. When the investigators
approached Altman, he handed them an advertisement for
Contractor Line 3200W generators for $863.85 as part of a
"Hurricane Sale." The advertisement stated that the list price
for the generator is $1,492. On September 6, Altman sold one of
the generators to a woman for $925. When the woman confronted
Altman about the price five days later, it was lowered to $800.
On September 7, Altman offered to sell a 3200W generator to
another woman for $863.

The average price of this generator in the Central Florida trade
area during the 30-day period prior to the declaration of
emergency was approximately $400. The advertised list price of
$1,492 and the reference to a "Hurricane Sale" are both
misleading since no such list price exists, and since the "sale"
price is substantially higher than the region's average price.

Altman and E Z Ryder are charged with violating Florida's price
gouging statute, which carries a maximum fine of $1,000 per
violation, and for violations of statutes covering deceptive
trade practices and misleading advertising. Altman and his
businesses could receive civil penalties of $10,000 per
violation of these statutes, in addition to attorney fees and
costs, as well as actual damages caused to consumers.

The action is the ninth price-gouging suit filed since Governor
Bush declared a state of emergency on August 10. The range of
cases includes hotels, tree-trimming service, home repair and
now generators. In addition to the civil complaint filed by
Crist, the sheriff's personnel arrested Altman for organized
scheme to defraud on September 15, following repeated warnings
to cease his activities.


FANNIE MAE: U.S. Attorney General Begins Accounting Probe
---------------------------------------------------------
Home funding company Fannie Mae (FNM.N) faces a criminal
investigation by the U.S. Attorney General in the District of
Columbia, asking it to save certain documents related to charges
of accounting abuses, Reuters reports.

Last month, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight,
the Company's regulator, alleged the firm had misused accounting
to produce steady earnings and meet targets that triggered
bonuses for top management.  The report caused the company's
stock price to fall more than 15%, but the Company has since
recouped nearly half of those losses.

"This is another incremental negative," Edwin Groshans, vice
president and senior mortgage finance analyst at Fox-Pitt
Kelton, told Reuters.  "This is really one these deaths by a
thousand cuts."

The Company already faces a probe by the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC) into its accounting practices.  In a
regulatory disclosure filed this week, the Company also
disclosed that it faces eight shareholder class actions filed in
either in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
or the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New
York.  Another case was filed in the latter court on behalf of
the company against members of its board for alleged breach of
fiduciary duties.  In September, the attorney general of Ohio
also opened a preliminary inquiry on behalf of Ohio's public
pension funds.

"Any time a company's stock price falls we expect a class action
case, but when there's a separate Department of Justice or SEC
investigation, you sort of take a second look at it and are just
a little more concerned," Andrew Edison, partner at Bracewell &
Patterson in Houston, Texas told Reuters.  "Of course you have
to hold judgment until there's any sort of determination by the
court of any wrongdoing."

The lawsuits will be consolidated before one judge, who will
select a lead plaintiff and lead counsel, and the company and
other defendants will undoubtedly push for the claim to be
dismissed, he continued.  Few securities class action cases go
to trial, and are either dismissed or resolved by the company,
he added.

Fannie Mae senior executives last week told Congress that it and
its auditors believed they were properly applying complex
accounting standards that can be interpreted differently.  Wall
Street dealers and Fannie Mae's investors are eager to see what
earnings restatements may result.  The company has agreed to
hold extra capital while its accounting problems are worked out,
and market players are concerned with just how the company will
raise those added funds, Reuters reports.


FINANCIERA GUBERNMENTAL: Telemarketing Scam Suit Filed
------------------------------------------------------
Arkansas Attorney General Mike Beebe filed suit against
Financiera Gubernmental Hispana, a California company doing
business in Arkansas as FGH International, and its three owners
for running a telemarketing scam aimed at Latino residents in
Arkansas.  AG Beebe is seeking restitution for the victims, an
injunction ending FGH International's Arkansas operation and
civil penalties under the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices
Act.

The victims in this case were contacted by phone and told that
they had been selected in a lottery to receive help from the
federal government.  The con artists offered training programs
to develop skills in automobile mechanics, computer proficiency
and to improve English-language skills for Spanish-speaking
applicants.  They claimed that the consumer would receive
federal subsidies covering 80% of the training costs.

In addition, FGH's telemarketers claimed that signing up for the
programs would make consumers eligible for permits that would
help in applying for citizenship, as well as providing credit
toward major purchases such as houses or vehicles.  All of these
claims are false.

The victims paid between $500 and $600 for these "training
programs," sometimes giving their bank account information at
the company's request.  The educational materials they received
by mail were very limited, outdated and essentially worthless.
The consumers quickly learned that they had not been enrolled in
any formal training program, and there was no involvement from
the federal government.  When consumers requested refunds, they
were sometimes threatened with legal action, and FGH
International continued to charge fees to the consumers' bank
accounts.

"We still don't know exactly how many Arkansas consumers were
victimized by this cruel scam," AG Beebe said.  "We are
reviewing records that suggest there could be hundreds of
Arkansas victims. Anyone who has been called and offered this
program should contact the Consumer Protection Division of my
office."

Under the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, each violation
by FGH International could be punishable by a $10,000 fine. The
three owners of FGH International named in the lawsuit are
Jhonny Rojas, Wilson Rojas and Franco Morales, also known as
Quintero Franco.

For questions, contact the Attorney General's Office by Mail:
200 Catlett-Prien Tower Building, 323 Center Street, Little
Rock, AR 72201 by Phone: (501) 682-2341 or 1-(800) 482-8982 or
by visiting the Web site: http://www.ag.state.ar.us. Spanish-
speaking consumers can also contact the office by Phone: (501)
683-3130.  TDD service is available for the hearing-impaired:
682-6073.


FUJITSU CORPORATION: British Dealer Sues Over MPG3xx Hard Drives
----------------------------------------------------------------
A British computer dealer is filing a lawsuit against computer
firm Fujitsu over the failure of its MPG3xx hard drives, The
Register reports.

The Bournemouth-based Technology Europe Ltd. bought 350 of the
hard drives between late 2001 and September 2002, which it
fitted to systems it then sold on.  The drives allegedly began
to fail at unacceptably high levels, but the Company continued
to deny there was a problem, Technology Europe director Ben
Baker told The Register.

The Company also allegedly was less than helpful about returning
dead drives, he continued.  Problems with Fujitsu MPG3xx hard
drives began to surface in 2002, but the supplier denied there
was any abnormal failure rate.

Mr. Baker told the Personal Computer Association, a UK lobby
group for computer dealers, that the Company started refusing
credit for about half the drives returned because it claimed the
edge connectors were damaged.  Mr. Baker denies the drives had
any problem with edge connectors when they were sent.  Fujitsu
sent photographs to support its claim, but told Baker the drives
had been destroyed when he asked for their return.

The PCA lobbied Fujitsu over problems experienced by its
members, and in December 2002 issued an advisory note on Fujitsu
drives.  It revealed that in 2001 Fujitsu lodged court papers
against Cirrus Logic blaming its control chips for failing early
and causing problems with its drives.  Last year Fujitsu settled
a US class action suit over the dud drives with a $42.5 million
out-of-court payment.

Mr. Ben Baker's solicitors would like to hear from anyone who
has lost time, money or business because of this issue.  For
more details, contact Mark Clarke of Clarke and Co Solicitors by
Phone: 01201 291 707 or by E-mail: mjc@clarke-and-co.com.


IDAHO: ID A.G. Wasden Lauds Supreme Court Do Not Call Law Ruling
---------------------------------------------------------------
Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and Representative Julie
Ellsworth applauded the action by the United States Supreme
Court that allows the national Do Not Call Registry to stand.
The Court declined to hear an appeal by telemarketers who argued
that the law violates their right to free speech.

The Attorney General's Office proposed and enforces Idaho's No
Call Law, which was sponsored by Representative Julie Ellsworth
of Boise.  Although the Idaho registry has since been
incorporated into the National Do Not Call Registry, Attorney
General Wasden's office continues to receive and investigate
complaints of No Call violations from Idaho residents.

The ruling was a big win for Idaho consumers, Attorney General
Lawrence Wasden said in a statement.  "There are now more than
250,000 Idaho telephone numbers on the registry, a clear
indication that large numbers of Idahoans wish to be free of
unwanted telephone solicitations," he added.

"I believe the Idaho Do Not Call List has been very effective
and I am happy to see the federal list withstand the
constitutional challenge," Representative Julie Ellsworth said.
"The strength of the Idaho list is that we were able to provide
broad coverage by including fewer exemptions than many of the
states allowed."

By declining to hear the case, the Supreme Court let stand a
previous decision by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. The
Tenth Circuit held "that the do-not-call registry is a valid
commercial speech regulation because it directly advances the
government's important interests in safeguarding personal
privacy and reducing the danger of telemarketing abuse without
burdening an excessive amount of speech."

Idahoans can register their cellular or home phones for the
national Do Not Call Registry online through Attorney General
Wasden's web site or by telephone at 1-888-382-1222 (TTY 1-866-
290-4236). To register by phone, consumers must call from the
number they want to register. Telemarketers are required to
obtain an updated copy of the list every three months, so it may
take that long for all telemarketers to be aware of a newly
registered number. Registered telephone numbers are covered by
both the state and national Do Not Call laws.


INTERSTATE BAKERIES: Recalls White Bread Due To Whey Content
------------------------------------------------------------
Interstate Bakeries Corporation is voluntarily recalling three
varieties of Great Value white bread sold in 13 Wal-Mart stores
in Southern California that do not list whey in the ingredient
statement on the package label. People who have an allergy or
severe sensitivity to whey or milk protein run the risk of
serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume
the product.

Packages of the recalled bread are marked with the SELL BY DATES
of September 20th through October 4th and the CODE NUMBERS 22264
to 22278. The products being recalled are:

     (1) Great Value 24 oz. White Sandwich -- UPC 7874228542

     (2) Great Value 16 oz. White Round Top -- UPC 7874228540

     (3) Great Value 24 oz. Split Top White -- UPC 7874222914

The company has not received any complaints or reports of
illness related to this mislabeling. People who do not have milk
protein allergies can eat the product without concern.

During a routine review of product formulation, it was
discovered that the whey used in these breads was not listed on
the package ingredient statements.

Wal-Mart customers who purchased these breads at one of the 13
stores listed below and who are known to be allergic to milk
proteins should contact Interstate Bakeries Consumer Affairs
Office at 800-483-7253 for a refund. It is not necessary for
customers without a milk protein allergy to return already
purchased product.

Wal-Mart Stores carrying the recalled product are:

     (i) #1600 Ridgecrest, CA

    (ii) #1660 Palmdale, CA

   (iii) #2950 Palmdale, CA

    (iv) #1879 Barstow, CA

     (v) #2032 Oxnard, CA

    (vi) #2333 Apple Valley, CA

   (vii) #2621 Simi Valley, CA

  (viii) #2842 Corona South, CA

    (ix) #2886 Pico Rivera, CA

     (x) # 2948 Santa Fe Springs, CA

    (xi) #2952 Murrieta, CA

   (xii) #3248 La Habra, CA

  (xiii) #3276 San Bernardino, CA

For more details, contact Mark Dirkes by Phone: (816) 502-4203


IOWA: Joins Operation Roaming Charge Anti-Telemarketing Program
---------------------------------------------------------------
Iowa joined federal and multi-national agencies in "Operation
Roaming Charge" - a concerted campaign against telemarketing
fraud originating both in the U.S. and abroad, Iowa Attorney
General Tom Miller announced in a statement.

"This is a very important development in the long-running battle
against telemarketing fraud, because so many operations have
moved out of the U.S. but are still going strong in Canada and
some other countries," said Attorney General Tom Miller. "We
can't reach them on our own."

"Operation Roaming Charge" was announced on October 5,2004 by
officials of the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Department
of Justice and other U.S. agencies, joined by the head of the
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Financial Crime Division and
others.

The FTC says telemarketing fraud accounted for about one-fifth
of all consumer fraud complaints the FTC received in 2003 and
the first half of 2004 - and that it cost consumers hundreds of
millions of dollars.  "Telemarketing fraud continues to plague
especially older consumers," AG Miller said.  "That means it
remains a big problem for Iowa."

The Iowa Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division
continues to pioneer strategies to thwart telemarketing fraud -
including going after U.S. companies that "assist and
facilitate" fraudulent companies operating out of Canada.
Miller's office has seized thousands of pieces of mail coming to
Iowa commercial mail "drop-box" sites, mail allegedly used by
con-artists to build lists of persons vulnerable to
telemarketing schemes -- most often older persons.

Last month, Miller's office filed a lawsuit alleging a Phoenix
company "facilitated consumer fraud" by enabling deceptive
telemarketers to automatically withdraw money from people's bank
accounts without the victims' permission or approval. Bank
account debiting is the preferred method for fraudulent
telemarketers to obtain people's money, according to FTC
complaint data for the first half of this year. Almost half of
FTC telemarketing complaints (46 percent) reported payments
taken by bank account debit, compared to 18 percent by credit
card, the next highest category. The Iowa lawsuit against
"Teledraft, Inc." was filed in U.S. District Court in Des
Moines.

"We are doing our part here to fight back," AG Miller said. "It
is very encouraging to have U.S. and international agencies
focusing on the cross-border problem of telemarketing fraud."

AG Miller encouraged any telemarketing fraud victims to contact
the by Mail: The Division at the Hooever Building, Des Moines
Iowa 50319 or by Phone: 515-281-5926 or 888-777-4590 (toll-
free).  AG Miller said his office is aware of many Iowans who
have lost tens of thousands of dollars to telemarketing fraud,
and some who lost life savings of hundreds of thousands of
dollars.

U.S. officials said today in Washington that "Operation Roaming
Charge" has resulted in the arrest of more than 100 persons in
the U.S. and 35 arrests in other countries. The project involved
coordination among many state attorneys general; the Postal
Inspection Service; U.S. Attorneys' offices nationwide;
criminal, civil and tax divisions of the U.S. Department of
Justice; many FBI field divisions; the Federal Trade Commission;
the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; and many other federal,
state, local and foreign law enforcement and regulatory
agencies.


MEDS-STAT: KS A.G. Kline Sues Over Flu Vaccine Price-Gouging
------------------------------------------------------------
Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline filed a lawsuit against a
Florida company for alleged violations of the Kansas Consumer
Protection Act.  The suit is the result of an undercover
investigation conducted by Attorney General Kline's Consumer
Protection and Antitrust Division.

Meds-Stat of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was named in the suit
filed in Shawnee County District Court seeking civil penalties
of $10,000 for each violation, and an additional $10,000 for
each violation involving elder Kansans. Med-Stat faces two
counts of deceptive acts and two counts of unconscionable acts.

"By filing this action we are serving notice that we will act
swiftly and aggressively to protect Kansas citizens," Attorney
General Kline said in a statement.

The suit alleges that on October 8th, Meds-Stat proposed to
deliver and sell a vial of five doses of flu vaccine to a Kansas
City, Kansas pharmacy for $900 with the knowledge that the
vaccine was to be used in a "nursing home." On October 1st, the
price for the same vial was listed as $85.

Attorney General Kline encourages any individual or health care
provider concerned about possible vaccine price-gouging to
contact his Consumer Protection and Antitrust Division at
1-800-432-2310.


NISSAN NORTH: G35 Owners File Consumer CA Suit Over Brake Defect
----------------------------------------------------------------
Consumers initiated a proposed nationwide class action suit in a
Los Angeles court against Nissan North America over a brake
defect in the Infiniti G35 that has undercut the vehicle's
resale value, Reuters reports.

The lawsuit claims that the brake problem "significantly
increased the expected costs of ownership of a G35 well beyond
the warranty amendment" and diminished the car's value. "You're
still going to have to replace brakes and rotors more often than
you normally would," said plaintiffs lawyer Aashish Desai.

The lawsuit, which was allegedly similar to a suit filed last
month in Florida, asks that the Gardena, California-based
division of Tokyo-based Nissan Motor to reimburse owners of G35
sports sedans and coupes made in '03 and '04 for the costs of
fixing the defect, which causes brake pads and rotors to wear
out faster than normal.

According to Nissan spokesman Kyle Bazemore, the defect, which
was disclosed by the automaker in the last quarter of 2004, has
been addressed and in addition they have also amended the car's
warranty to cover the brake pad and brake rotor replacements for
the first three years or 36,000 miles the buyer owns or leases
the car.

Mr. Bazemore further adds that they have also reimbursed owners
for brake maintenance that had already been performed. He
however refused to comment further on the California lawsuit,
but instead described the Florida claim as "unfounded."


OM GROUP: Confirms Electrical Malfunction At Congo Smelter Joint
----------------------------------------------------------------
OM Group, Inc. confirmed that an electrical malfunction at its
Big Hill smelter joint venture located in Lubumbashi, Democratic
Republic of the Congo, could result in a disruption to the
company's cobalt refining operations.  No injuries were
reported.

Steve Dunmead, vice president and general manager, cobalt,
stated, "It's too early to predict how long it will take to
replace the damaged equipment and make the necessary repairs. We
expect to meet contractual obligations for the foreseeable
future through a combination of existing inventories either on
hand or currently in transit to our refinery in Kokkola,
Finland.

"As part of our contingency planning," he concluded, "we are
also considering accelerating the timing of the planned
maintenance shutdown of the smelter scheduled for late 2004 or
early 2005. Once that decision has been finalized, we will
communicate fully to our customers and all parties concerned."

OM Group is a vertically integrated international producer and
marketer of value-added, metal-based specialty chemicals and
related materials.  Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, OM Group
operates manufacturing facilities in the Americas, Europe, Asia,
Africa and Australia.

For more details, contact Greg Griffith, Director of Investor
Relations of OM Group, by Phone: 1-216-263-7455 or visit the
Company's Web site: http://www.omgi.com.


SOULFOOD CONCEPTS: SEC Lodges Fraud Complaint V. Firm, President
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Securities and Exchange Commission initiated a civil
complaint against Soulfood Concepts, Inc. and its President and
Chief Executive Officer, Markova Campbell, in federal district
court in Washington, D.C. The Commission alleges in its
complaint that Soulfood filed with the Commission a materially
false and misleading annual report and amended annual report for
the year ended Dec. 31, 2002, and materially false and
misleading quarterly reports for the quarters ended Sept. 30,
2002 and March 31, 2003. The Commission alleges that Campbell
copied the financial statements included in the reports from
prior Commission filings and altered the applicable dates to
make the statements appear to be current. Campbell also is
alleged to have included a fictitious independent auditor's
report in the annual report and amended annual report.
Soulfood's auditor had resigned prior to the filing and did not
conduct an audit for 2002.

As a result, the Commission alleges that Soulfood and Campbell
violated or aided and abetted violations of Sections 10(b) and
13(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rules 10b-5,
12b-20, 13a-1 and 13a-13 thereunder. The Commission also alleges
that Campbell violated Rule 13a-14 of the Exchange Act by
falsely certifying two periodic reports. The Commission seeks
permanent injunctions against Soulfood and Campbell and, against
Campbell only, an officer and director bar and a civil penalty.

On October 12, the Commission also instituted administrative
proceedings against Soulfood pursuant to Section 12(j) of the
Exchange Act to determine whether the registration of the
company's securities should be suspended or revoked. In the
Commission's Order, the Division of Enforcement alleges that
Soulfood failed to comply with Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act
and Rules 13a-1 and 13a-13 thereunder when it failed to file
with the Commission its required annual report for the fiscal
year ended Dec. 31, 2003 and its quarterly reports for its
fiscal quarters ended June 30 and Sept. 30, 2003, and March 31
and June 30, 2004. The action is titled, SEC v. Soulfood
Concepts, Inc. and Markova Campbell, 1:04 CV01731 (JR) D.D.C.


SPYWARE LITIGATION: FTC Asks Court To Halt Spyware Operations
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Federal Trade Commission asked a U.S. District Court to shut
down a spyware operation that hijacks computers, secretly
changes their settings, barrages them with pop-up ads, and
installs adware and other software programs that spy on
consumers' Web surfing.  The spyware may cause computers to
malfunction, slow down, or even crash.

The FTC alleges the spyware operation violates federal law and
will ask the court to bar the practices permanently and order
the defendants to give up their ill-gotten gains.

"Consumers don't deserve to be pestered and spied on by people
who illegally hijack their computers," said Lydia Parnes, Acting
Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. "We're
putting purveyors of spyware on notice: This is our first
spyware case, but it won't be our last."

Earlier this year, the FTC received a complaint from the Center
for Democracy and Technology concerning pop-up ads for Spy Wiper
and Spy Deleter.  In response to this complaint and other
information, the Commission commenced an investigation of
Seismic Entertainment Productions, Inc., Smartbot.Net, and
Sanford Wallace.  Since December 2003, they have operated Web
sites that distribute spyware.

According to the FTC, the defendants used a variety of
techniques to direct consumers to their Web sites.  At these Web
sites, consumers had spyware downloaded onto their computers.
The spyware attacks a feature of Internet Explorer's Web browser
to download software, so consumers received no notice that it is
being installed and did not consent to its installation.

The spyware changed the consumers' home pages, changed their
search engines, and triggered a barrage of pop-up ads. According
to the FTC, the spyware also installed additional software,
including spyware that can track the computer use of consumers.
As a result of the spyware and other software the defendants
installed, many computers malfunctioned, slowed down, or
crashed, causing consumers to lose data stored on their
computers.

Having created serious problems for consumers, the defendants
offer to sell them a solution. The spyware causes the CD-ROM
tray on computers to open, and then tells consumers "FINAL
WARNING!! If your cd-rom drive(s) open. . . You DESPERATELY NEED
to rid your system of spyware pop-ups IMMEDIATELY! Spyware
programmers can control your computer hardware if you failed to
protect your computer right at this moment! Download Spy Wiper
NOW!" Spy Wiper and Spy Deleter, another purported anti-spyware
product the defendants promoted, were sold for approximately
$30.

The FTC charged that the defendants engaged in unfair acts and
practices in violation of the FTC Act in connection with
downloading spyware onto the computers of consumers. The agency
alleged that the defendants acted unfairly in downloading
software without any notice or authorization that modified the
Web browser to change consumers' home pages and search engines
and that downloaded additional software (including spyware) that
caused harm to consumers.

The FTC also charged that the defendants acted unfairly in
downloading spyware that causes serious harm to consumers,
thereby compelling them either to purchase the anti-spyware
product the defendants offer or spend substantial time and money
to fix their computers.  The defendants receive a commission on
the sales of anti-spyware products that result from their
activities.  The FTC asked the court to issue an order
preventing the defendants from disseminating spyware and giving
up their ill-gotten gains.

The Commission vote to authorize staff to file the complaint was
5-0.  The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the
District of New Hampshire.

For more details, visit the FTC's Web site: http://www.ftc.gov
or contact Claudia Bourne Farrell of the Office of Public
Affairs by Phone: 202-326-2181 or contact Laura Sullivan of the
Division of Advertising Practices by Phone: 202-326-3327


TELEDRAFT INC.: IA Court Enters Injunction in Consumer Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa
judge Robert W. Pratt entered a preliminary injunction in the
lawsuit filed against Teledraft, Inc. by Iowa Attorney General
Tom Miller, alleging that the defendants have facilitated
telemarketing fraud by granting fraudulent telemarketers access
to consumers' bank accounts for instantaneous electronic
withdrawals from those accounts.

The suit alleges that the Arizona electronic withdrawal company
"facilitated consumer fraud" by enabling deceptive telemarketers
to automatically withdraw money from people's bank accounts
without their permission or approval.  Teledraft, Inc., is a
Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in
Phoenix, AZ.  Also named in the suit are Al Slaten, president
and an owner of Teledraft, and Dan Wolfe, an owner of Teledaft
and Arizona resident who owns a larger share than any other
individual.

The suit asks the court to order preliminary and permanent
injunctions prohibiting violations of the federal Telemarketing
Sales Rule and Iowa's Consumer Fraud Act; redress of injury to
Iowa consumers including damages and refund of monies; penalties
up to $40,000 per defendant for each violation of the Iowa
Consumer Fraud Act; and penalties up to $5,000 per defendant for
each violation of the Consumer Fraud Act committed against
Iowans age 65 or older.

"We allege that Teledraft, Inc., plays a vital role in various
predatory telemarketing schemes, with many operating out of
Canada," AG Miller said in a statement.  "We allege that
Teledraft gives the fraudulent telemarketers instantaneous
electronic access to consumers' bank accounts, and withdrawals
of hundreds of dollars at a time are made -- sometimes without
the victim's authorization or even realization. Teledraft has
caused millions of dollars to be electronically withdrawn from
the bank accounts of U.S. customers."

"We allege that Teledraft has ample notice of the role they play
in these schemes, and that they have a legal duty under both
U.S. and Iowa law to refrain from helping illegal telemarketers
gain access to consumers' bank accounts," he said.  "If we
succeed in our lawsuit, the Federal District Court will prohibit
Teledraft's illegal activity in Iowa and nationwide and order
refunds to Iowans."


Judge Pratt's Stipulated Preliminary Injunction requires the
defendants to investigate and actively monitor the telemarketers
for which it withdraws funds from consumer bank accounts, and
terminate services for telemarketers that appear to be violating
the law. The defendants agreed to entry of the preliminary
injunction, which provides that entry of the injunction is not
an admission of wrongdoing by the defendants. The lawsuit will
now proceed to trial, which has not yet been scheduled.


TENG FEI TRADING: Recalls 81T Light Bulbs Due To Fire Hazard
------------------------------------------------------------
Teng Fei Trading Inc., of Flushing, N.Y. is cooperating with the
United States Consumer Product Safety Commission by voluntarily
recalling about 81,000 Teng Fei Energy Saving Light Bulbs.  The
base of the bulb is not flame-retardant, as required in the
voluntary standard for this type of bulb.  Electrical components
in the bulb can overheat, posing a fire hazard.

These Teng Fei Energy Saving light bulbs are white, compact
fluorescent bulbs. The recall includes model numbers T6112,
T6113, T6114, and T6115. The model number is written on the
packaging only. "Teng Fei 110-127V 50/60Hz" is written on the
bulb.

Manufactured in China, the light bulbs at various 99› stores in
the state of New York from November 2003 to March 2004 for about
$0.99.  Consumers should immediately stop using these light
bulbs and return them to the store where purchased for a refund.

Consumer Contact: Consumers should call Teng Fei Trading Inc.
collect at (718) 888-7000 between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday
through Friday.


UNITED HOME BUYERS: Civil Justice Lodges MD Consumer Fraud Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Civil Justice Inc., an organization that works closely with the
Community Law Center, St. Ambrose Housing Center and ACORN of
Baltimore in addressing the needs of victims of Predatory Real
Estate Practices in the Baltimore initiated a lawsuit against
United Home Buyers Company (UHBC) for allegedly making promises
to consumers and not following through, the Business Gazette
reports.

According to Civil Justice Executive Director Denis Murphy, the
class action lawsuit, which named the company and its
owners/managers James Raeford and Cheryl Holley as defendants,
accuses them of fraud by failing to perform the credit repair
services they promised to hundreds and perhaps thousands of
Marylanders.

Furthermore, Mr. Murphy claims that consumers, who were required
to pay advance sums of their resources for the services that
allegedly were not performed, were assured by UHBC that their
negative credit information would be removed and that help would
be provided to consumers who wanted to make a down payment on a
new house. He is also claiming that the company promised to
restore and raise the scores of the consumers' credit.

The lawsuit also alleges that the company was not registered
with the Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation as a
licensed mortgage broker. The lawsuit has been filed with the
Circuit Court of Baltimore City though no court date has been
set.


UNITED STATES: Pro-Gay Group Sues Over "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
--------------------------------------------------------------
Pro-gay Republican group Log Cabin Republican intends to filed a
lawsuit asking the United States District Court in Los Angeles,
California to reverse the United States government's "don't ask,
don't tell" policy covering gays and lesbians in the military,
the Associated Press reports.

The "don't ask, don't tell" policy was put into place in 1993.
It allows gays and lesbians to serve in the military, so long as
they do not disclose their sexual orientation and do not engage
in homosexual acts.

Earlier this year, a report from the Servicemembers Legal
Defense Network revealed that 787 gays and lesbians were
dismissed from the military over the policy in 2003, down 39%
from 2001.  The advocacy group said the decline was due mainly
to U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.  The
military has discharged nearly 10,000 people for violations of
the policy since it first took effect, according to that report.

Log Cabin members serving in the military asked the group's
leaders over the last four months to take legal action, the
group's attorney, Marty Meekins, said Tuesday, according to AP.
They did not come forward because of a specific incident, but
simply because "of fear of the military finding out their sexual
orientation if they are gay and lesbian," Meekins said.  "This
case is fundamentally about correcting a misguided governmental
policy based on prejudice toward gay and lesbian Americans."

In 2003, the Supreme Court struck down a Texas law that made
homosexual sex a crime, saying that what gay men and women do in
the privacy of their bedrooms is their business and not the
domain of government.  Log Cabin officials told AP they were
encouraged by the ruling to challenge the policy.

Mr. Meekins denied there were political motivations behind the
announcement, which came a day before a debate over domestic
issues between President Bush and Democratic challenger John
Kerry, and three weeks before the presidential election.  The
Pentagon under Bush has maintained the Clinton-era "don't ask,
don't tell" policy, while Kerry has said he would let gays serve
openly in the military.

Log Cabin backed Bush in 2000, but has withheld an endorsement
this year, saying the president was disloyal to the 1 million
gays and lesbians who voted for him four years ago for
supporting a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, AP
reports.

The lawsuit against the government would have been filed sooner
had the group and its lawyers been prepared, Meekins said.

"The decision to file the lawsuit doesn't have anything to do
with any election," added Log Cabin political director
Christopher Barron. "We are a nation fighting a war on terror
and we need a policy that protects our national security."


UNITED STATES: Progress Reported in Hungarian Holocaust Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The federal government and Hungarian Holocaust survivors made
"substantial progress" towards settling a lawsuit over the
allegation that the Army looted Jewish valuables at the end of
World War II, according to attorneys for the respective parties,
the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.

The suit, which contends that in 1945, U.S. troops plundered the
Hungarian Gold Train of valuables that the Nazis had seized from
800,000 Hungarian Jews charges the U.S. government of covering
up the scandal for decades.

The eleventh-hour settlement mediation temporarily postponed the
hearings that were scheduled before U.S. District Judge Patricia
Seitz. Washington lawyer Fred Fielding is currently mediating
the talks in Miami.

According to court papers filed in Miami, "The parties have been
engaged in ongoing mediation and over the past several days have
made substantial progress towards a possible resolution of this
matter. The parties submit that postponing the hearing will
allow these discussions to continue going forward."

The lawsuit, which has not yet achieved class action status, was
filed three years ago and is seeking up to $10,000 for each of
the thousands of Hungarian Holocaust survivors who would be
included.

The suit states that the 29 boxcars laden with the Jewish
treasures, which were headed to Austria from Hungary were taken
over by U.S. troops, who promised to protect the cargo, but have
instead been used as decorations for officers' clubs and villas,
while some have been sold at auction and some simply
disappeared.

In 1999, the Presidential Advisory Commission of Holocaust
Assets exposed the scandal in a published report that provided
the backbone of the federal lawsuit.

Since then, the government has been under mounting political
pressure to settle the suit.

Proof of the mounting pressure was last weeks letter by the
plaintiffs David Mermelstein, Baruch Epstein and Alex Moskovic
that urges President Bush to personally intervene in the
unequivocal settlement of the suit.

Political pressure was also increasing in the form of Sen. John
Kerry's, who in one of his presidential campaign stops accused
the Bush administration of "dragging its feet." A bipartisan
group of 17 senators and the Florida congressional delegation
were also urging the administration to settle.


YUM! BRANDS: Few RGMs Sign On For Pizza Hut Overtime Wage Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Yum! Brands reveals that very few potential litigants have
signed up for the class action against Pizza Hut, according to
an October 12 regulatory filing, the Pizza Marketplace.com
reports.

In the suit, Coldiron v. Pizza Hut, Inc., plaintiff Ann Coldiron
alleges she and other current and former Pizza Hut restaurant
general managers were improperly classified as exempt employees
under the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act.

On May 5, a judge granted conditional certification of a
nationwide class of RGMs under the FLSA claim, providing notice
to prospective class members and an opportunity to join the
class. However, less than 10 percent of the eligible class
members have joined the litigation.  According to the filing,
once class certification discovery is completed, Pizza Hut
intends to challenge its propriety.


ZAMBALES BAKERY: Recalls Atchara For Clostridium Contamination
--------------------------------------------------------------
Zambales Bakery of San Diego, CA is recalling an unknown
quantity of Atchara (Pickled Papaya) and Ampalaya Atchara,
because it has the potential to be contaminated with Clostridium
botulinum, a bacterium that can cause life-threatening illness
or death. Consumers are warned not to use the product even if it
does not look or smell spoiled.

Botulism, a potentially fatal form of food poisoning, can cause
the following symptoms: general weakness, dizziness, double-
vision and trouble with speaking or swallowing. Difficulty in
breathing, weakness of other muscles, abdominal distension and
constipation may also be common symptoms. People experiencing
these problems should seek immediate medical attention.

The Atchara (Pickled Papaya) and Ampalaya Atchara was
distributed via direct delivery tosupermarkets in San Diego and
Los Angeles Counties. Some of the retail locations include
Seafood City in Mira Mesa, National City , Chula Vista, West
Covina, and Panorama City, as well as Food Mart in National
City. There may have been additional consignees as the products
were delivered by company vehicles with little documentation.

The Atchara (Pickled Papaya) and Ampalaya Atchara were packed in
1 pound clear plastic jars with white screw on plastic lids. The
labels have the product name Atchara or Ampalaya Atchara,
ingredient listing, Zambales Bakery & Foods Corp, Camino Ruiz SD
Ca 92126. There are no expiration, lot codes or use by dates.

For more details, contact Juliet M. Villamor by Phone:
858-566-7148 or 858-335-9513


                 New Securities Fraud Cases

APOLLO GROUP: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Securities Suit in AZ
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
District of Arizona on behalf of all who purchased or otherwise
acquired securities of Apollo Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL)
("Apollo" or the "Company") from March 12, 2004 through
September 14, 2004, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Apollo, Todd S. Nelson, Kenda B. Gonzales,
and Daniel E. Bachus 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 known to defendants or
recklessly disregarded by them:

     (1) that the Company improperly based recruiter's
         compensation on enrollment figures, in violation of
         U.S. regulations that forbid schools whose students
         receive federal financial aid from tying pay directly
         to enrollments;

     (2) that as a consequence of the foregoing, defendants were
         able to demonstrate dazzling growth at schools such as
         the University of Phoenix, even though recruiters
         bolstered their numbers by signing up unqualified
         students; and

     (3) that as a result of the illegal practices, the
         Company's earnings and net income were materially
         inflated at all relevant times.

On September 15, 2004, the Wall Street Journal published an
article entitled "Will Apollo's Bad Report Card Get Its Shares
Grounded?" The article stated that Apollo engaged in a "culture
of duplicity" in which supervisors improperly lavished money on
sales employees for signing up scores of new students, including
those unable to cut it. This news shocked the market. Shares of
Apollo fell $1.41 per share, or 1.76 percent on September 15,
2004, to close at $78.68 per share.

For more details, contact Marc A. Topaz, Esq. or Darren J.
Check, Esq. of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP by Mail: Three Bala
Plaza East, Suite 400, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004 by Phone:
1-888-299-7706 or 1-610-667-7706 or by E-mail:
info@sbclasslaw.com


CONVERIUM HOLDING: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Suit in NY
-------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman LLP initiated a
class action lawsuit on behalf of persons who purchased or
otherwise acquired the securities of Converium Holding AG
("Converium" or the "Company") (NYSE:CHR and SWX:CHRN) between
December 11, 2001 and August 30, 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 New York against defendants Converium,
Zurich Financial Services Group and certain of Converium's
officers and directors.

The complaint alleges that Converium is a global reinsurer that
offers a range of traditional non-life and life reinsurance
products, as well as other products to help clients manage
capital and risk. The complaint further alleges that, during the
Class Period, defendants artificially inflated the price of
Converium securities by issuing press releases and other
statements touting the strength of the Company's business. The
statements were materially false and misleading because they
failed to disclose that:

     (1) Converium maintained inadequate loss reserves;

     (2) reserve increases announced by the Company during the
         Class Period were materially insufficient; and

     (3) as a consequence of the understatement of loss
         reserves, Converium's earnings and assets were
         materially overstated at all relevant times.

Defendants were motivated to engage in this conduct because it
enabled the Company to sell $1.9 billion in stock and $200
million in notes at artificially inflated prices.

The truth began to emerge on July 20, 2004. On that date, the
Company announced that it had failed to properly and adequately
report reserves for losses and asset impairments and that the
Company would now be forced to record a charge of over $400
million to bring reserves up to their necessary and proper
levels. Immediately following publication of this release the
Company's ADSs fell more than US $10.87 to $14.15 per share in
New York, a decline of 43.4% in the single day's trading
session. On August 30, 2004, the Company further announced that
it anticipated making third-quarter reserve adjustments of
between US $50 million and US $100 million. On this news,
Converium ADSs fell $1.30, or 11.6%, from a closing price of
$11.20 on August 30, 2004 to a low of $9.90 on August 31, 2004,
and closed out the day at $10.10. Shares of the Company declined
in tandem on the Swiss exchange.

For more details, contact Steven G. Schulman, Peter E. Seidman
or Andrei V. Rado by Mail: One Pennsylvania Plaza, 49th fl., New
York, NY 10119-0165 by Phone: (800) 320-5081 by E-mail:
sfeerick@milbergweiss.com or visit their Web site:
http://www.milbergweiss.com


DECODE GENETICS: Bernstein Liebhard Lodges Securities Suit in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz, LLP initiated a
securities class action lawsuit in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of all
persons who purchased or acquired securities of deCODE genetics,
Inc. (NASDAQ: DCGN) ("deCODE" or the "Company") between October
29, 2003 and August 26, 2004, inclusive (the "Class Period"),
seeking to pursue remedies under the Securities Exchange Act of
1934 (the "Exchange Act").

The Complaint alleges that defendants deCODE, Kari Stefansson,
and Lance Thibault violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder, by issuing a series of material misrepresentations
to the market between October 29, 2003 and August 26, 2004. More
specifically, the Complaint alleges that the defendants'
statements were materially false and misleading because they
failed to disclose and/or misrepresented the following adverse
facts, among others:

     (1) that Company's period-end financial closing procedures
         were materially deficient;

     (2) as such, deCODE, during the Class Period, improperly
         recognized revenue in violation of Generally Accepted
         Accounting Principles ("GAAP");

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

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

On August 26, 2004, deCODE announced the filing of a Form 8-K
with the Securities and Exchange Commission relating to the
August 19, 2004 resignation of PricewaterhouseCoopers ("PwC") as
deCODE's independent registered public accounting firm. PwC had
acted as deCODE's independent registered public accounting firm
since deCODE's formation in 1996. In a letter to the SEC, PwC
stated that it could not comment on the following:

     (1) The current condition of any reportable conditions in
         internal controls or with regard to the implementation
         of procedures of any kind to mitigate such reportable
         conditions; and

     (2) The disclosure indicating that the resignation of PwC
         was neither approved nor recommended by deCODE's Audit
         Committee.

News of this shocked the market. Shares of deCODE, on August 27,
2004, declined $0.60 per share, or 9.52 percent, to close at
$5.70 per share on unusually high trading volume.

For more details, contact Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz, LLP by
Phone: (800) 217-1522 or (212) 779-1414 or by E-mail:
DCGN@bernlieb.com or visit their Web site:
http://www.bernlieb.com


DIGIMARC CORPORATION: Dyer & Shuman Lodges Securities Suit in OR
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Denver, Colorado law firm of Dyer & Shuman, LLP initiated a
class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
District of Oregon on behalf of purchasers of Digimarc
Corporation (NASDAQ: DMRC) publicly-traded securities during the
period between April 17, 2002 and July 28, 2004, inclusive.

The Plaintiffs' complaint charges Digimarc, Bruce Davis and E.K.
Ranjit with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Digimarc is a supplier of secure personal identification
systems, providing more than 60 million personal identification
documents and driver licenses per year. Mr. Davis is the Chief
Executive Office and Chairman of the Board of Directors of
Digimarc. Mr. Ranjit was the company's Chief Financial Officer.

According to the complaint, defendants caused Digimarc's shares
to trade at artificially inflated levels through the issuance of
false and misleading financial statements. As a result of this
deception, Messrs. Davis and Ranjit were able to sell nearly
250,000 shares of their Digimarc stock for net proceeds in
excess of $3 million. On July 28, 2004, defendants revealed that
Digimarc's 2Q04 results were much worse than prior forecasts,
later disclosing that the Company's 2002, 2003 and 2004 results
would likely have to be restated to eliminate $1.2 to $2.0
million in earnings due to the Company's improper capitalization
of costs. The price of Digimarc's stock dropped 25% to $9.04 per
share on this news.

For more details, contact Jeffrey A. Berens, Esq. of Dyer &
Shuman, LLP by Phone: 1-800-711-6483 or 1-303-861-3003 by E-
mail: jberens@dyershuman.com


FIRST VIRTUAL: Bernstein Liebhard Lodges Securities Suit in CA
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz, LLP initiated
securities class action lawsuit in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of California on behalf of all
persons who purchased or acquired securities of First Virtual
Communications, Inc. (OTC: FVCC) ("First Virtual" or the
"Company") between March 29, 2004 and August 23, 2004, inclusive
(the "Class Period"), seeking to pursue remedies under the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act").

The complaint alleges that defendants engaged in a "pump and
dump" scheme that enabled Company insiders to profit at the
expense of class members by selling over a million shares of
their personally held First Virtual securities at artificially
inflated prices. Specifically, defendants issued materially
false and misleading statements about the Company's financial
condition and sales of its real-time rich media communications
software and services and specialized networking hardware
equipment worldwide, and a contract to provide the United States
Air Force with the Company's proprietary Click to MeetT web
communications infrastructure and solutions. In reaction to
these statements, the price of First Virtual stock skyrocketed
161% between February 5, 2004 and April 6, 2004, allowing
certain Company insiders to sell over 1.98 million shares of
their personally held First Virtual stock for proceeds of more
than $8.5 million.

On April 30, 2004, the truth about the Company's financial
condition began to emerge. On that day, defendants announced
that the Company's audit committee had commenced an
investigation into certain irregular sales transactions, and
that until the review was completed, the Company would not be
able to release its first-quarter earnings or file its Form 10-Q
with the SEC. In reaction to this news, the price of First
Virtual stock fell 37% from its previous day's closing price. As
a result of its failure to comply with the SEC's filing
requirements, First Virtual's securities were subject to
delistment from the Nasdaq SmallCap market. On August 5, 2004,
defendants announced that the Company had received a letter from
Nasdaq which granted the Company a conditional temporary
extension to file its first quarter 2004 report. On August 17,
2004, defendants disclosed that

     (1) the Company could not meet the conditions of its
         temporary filing extension;

     (2) the Company had incurred $2.1 million in expenses
         directly related to the investigation;

     (3) the Company was in danger of defaulting on a $3.0
         million credit facility agreement; and

     (4) based on the Company's profit and loss projections for
         the remainder of 2004, its stockholder equity would
         fall below Nasdaq's listing requirements.

On August 24, 2004, before the market opened, defendants
disclosed that the Company's request for an extension to comply
with Nasdaq's listing and filing requirements had been denied,
and that the Company's securities would be delisted from the
Nasdaq SmallCap at the commencement of trading on August 25,
2004. In reaction to that news, the price of First Virtual stock
fell 47 percent from its previous trading day's closing price,
to close at $0.37 per share.

For more details, contact Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz, LLP by
Phone: (800) 217-1522 or (212) 779-1414 or by E-mail:
FVCC@bernlieb.com or visit their Web site:
http://www.bernlieb.com


INTELLIGROUP INC.: Lerach Coughlin Lodges Securities Suit in NJ
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins
LLP initiated a class action lawsuit in the United States
District Court for the District of New Jersey on behalf of
purchasers of Intelligroup Inc. ("Intelligroup" or the
"Company") (NASDAQ: ITIGE) publicly traded securities during the
period between May 1, 2001 and September 24, 2004 (the "Class
Period").

The complaint charges Intelligroup and certain of its officers
and directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934. Intelligroup describes itself as a "leading global
provider of strategic IT outsourcing services. Intelligroup
develops, implements and supports information technology
solutions for global corporations and public sector
organizations."

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 Intelligroup was materially overstating its
         financial results by engaging in improper accounting
         practices. As detailed herein, Intelligroup has
         admitted that its prior financial reports are
         materially false and misleading as it announced that it
         is going to restate its previously issued financial
         statements filed on Form 10-K for the years ended
         December 31, 2003, 2002 and 2001 and filed on Form 10-Q
         for the quarterly periods beginning January 1, 2001 to
         date;

     (2) that the Company lacked adequate internal controls and
         was therefore unable to ascertain its true financial
         condition; and

     (3) that as a result of the foregoing, the values of the
         Company's revenues, net income and earnings before
         interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization
         ("EBITDA") were materially overstated at all relevant
         times.

On September 24, 2004, slightly over a month after its auditors
resigned, the Company shocked the market when it issued a press
release announcing its intention to restate its previously
issued financial statements filed on Form 10-K for the years
ended December 31, 2003, 2002 and 2001 and filed on Form 10-Q
for the quarterly periods beginning January 1, 2001 to date.
Upon this shocking news, shares of the Company's stock fell an
additional $0.52 per share or almost 32% to close at $1.13 per
share, on unusually heavy trading volume. Prior to the
disclosure of these adverse facts, defendants Valluripalli and
Visco sold their personally-held Intelligroup stock to the
unsuspecting public thereby reaping almost $3 million in illicit
proceeds.

For more details, contact Samuel H. Rudman or David A. Rosenfeld
of Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP by Phone:
800-449-4900 by E-mail: wsl@lerachlaw.com or visit their Web
site: http://www.lerachlaw.com/cases/Intelligroup/


TECO ENERGY: Zwerling Schacter Files Securities Fraud Suit in FL
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Zwerling, Schachter & Zwerling, LLP ("Zwerling
Schachter") and Robert C. Gilbert, P.A. initiated a class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Middle
District of Florida on behalf of all persons and entities who
purchased the securities of TECO Energy Inc. ("TECO" or the
"Company") (NYSE: TE) between October 30, 2001 and February 4,
2003, inclusive (the "Class Period"). The deadline to file a
motion seeking to be appointed lead plaintiff is
October 25, 2004.

The complaint alleges that defendants violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, by issuing a series of material
misrepresentations to the investing community during the Class
Period thereby artificially inflating the price of TECO's
securities. As alleged in the complaint, 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 Enron Corporation's
financial demise and the vulnerability of the Company's large
cash dividend, causing TECO's securities to trade at
artificially inflated levels.  This allowed the defendants to
sell over $4.2 million of their own personally held stock and
TECO to raise over $792 million selling equity securities.
Through a series of events in late 2002 and early 2003, TECO's
complex financial scheme began to unravel as several of these
large projects and their liabilities were shifted to TECO's
balance sheet.  This resulted in the Company taking over $1
billion in impairment charges and causing the price of its
common stock to fall from a Class Period high of over $28 per
share on April 23, 2002 to below $13 per share on February 4,
2003.

For more detail, contact Shaye J. Fuchs, Esq. or Jayne Nykolyn
of Zwerling, Schachter & Zwerling, LLP by Phone: 1-800-721-3900
by E-mail: sfuchs@zsz.com or jnykolyn@zsz.com OR Robert C.
Gilbert, Esq. by Phone: 1-305-529-9100 or by E-mail:
rgilblaw@aol.com or visit their Web site: http://www.zsz.com


WET SEAL: Bernstein Liebhard Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz, LLP initiated a
securities class action lawsuit in the United States District
Court for the Central District of California on behalf of all
persons who purchased or acquired securities of The Wet Seal,
Inc. (NASDAQ: WTSLA) ("Wet Seal" or the "Company") between
January 8, 2003 and August 19, 2004, inclusive (the "Class
Period"), seeking to pursue remedies under the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act").

The complaint charges Wet Seal, Peter D. Whitford, Joseph E.
Deckop, and Irving Teitelbaum 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's strategic initiatives plan was not
         strengthening the Company's corporate standing. In
         fact, the Company's strategic initiatives plan was a
         complete and total disaster that was leading the
         Company into financial ruin;

     (2) that demand for the Company's products was based on
         deep-discounting and that without deep-discounting its
         products, demand for such was at an all time low; and

     (3) that as a result of the above, the Company's
         projections, outlooks, and positive statements, were
         lacking in any reasonable basis when made.

On August 19, 2004, Wet Seal, after the market closed, shocked
the market by reporting that net loss from continuing operations
of $3.20 per share for the second quarter ended July 31, 2004.
Following this post-market announcement, shares of Wet Seal shed
$1.25 per share, or 59.52 percent, to close at $0.85 per share
on unusually high trading volume on August 20, 2004.

For more details, contact Bernstein Liebhard & Lifshitz, LLP by
Phone: (800) 217-1522 or (212) 779-1414 or by E-mail:
WTSLA@bernlieb.com or visit their Web site:
http://www.bernlieb.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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USA.   Glenn Ruel Se¤orin, Aurora Fatima Antonio and Lyndsey
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Copyright 2004.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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