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OKLAHOMA RAINS ON PROSECUTOR’S PARADE Southern District of New York U.S. Attorney James Comey was not happy Wednesday with the announcement that the state of Oklahoma has filed criminal charges against the main target of his investigation into WorldCom Inc. — former CEO Bernie Ebbers. Clearly upset by the filing of the first charges against the man who presided over the biggest accounting fraud in U.S. history, Comey released a statement that more than implied the action by Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson was a threat to his own investigation of the company. “In the name of cooperation and coordination, we are disappointed that we were not told that charges were imminent, as we have enjoyed a cooperative relationship with the attorneys general of other states,” Comey said. “We are hopeful Oklahoma’s action will not interfere with the prosecution of the five individuals already charged, four of whom have pled guilty and are awaiting sentencing in the Southern District, or with this office’s ongoing investigation into WorldCom.” The unusual statement — from a head prosecutor who has a reputation for going out of his way to avoid visible turf battles with other agencies and jurisdictions — indicated that Southern District prosecutors felt they had been sandbagged. The statement, which did not mention Edmondson by name, was officially released by the U.S. attorney’s “office.” Most releases from the Southern District are issued under Comey’s name. The tone of the release was one of anger as one of the major, if not the most significant case of Comey’s tenure — an investigation already complicated by the company’s bankruptcy, a raft of investor lawsuits and a civil enforcement action by the Securities and Exchange Commission — might become even more tricky with Edmondson’s decision to jump the gun. — The New York Law Journal

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