State of Illinois to Investigate Andersen

The State of Illinois has officially jumped into the Andersen fray, beginning a formal investigation into Andersen's involvement in the collapse of energy giant Enron Corp.

Illinois Attorney General, Jim Ryan, is pursuing two avenues in Illinois, home to Andersen's headquarters. He has launched an investigation under state law, and he has indicated Illinois would like to be considered as the lead plaintiff in a class action suit that is pending the federal court in Houston, where Enron is based.

In Illinois, Mr. Ryan has issued a "civil investigative demand" which is the equivalent of a subpoena, requesting documents from Andersen relating to the Enron situation.

Last December, Mr. Ryan filed a notice of appearance with the federal court in Houston, preserving his state's rights as a plaintiff, but until now has refrained from pursuing participation in litigation. Now Mr. Ryan has indicated he will move forward with participation in that litigation. Illinois state retirement systems lost approximately $40 million on investments in Enron. Other states already vying for the position of lead plaintiff in the federal class action suit include Ohio, Georgia, and Washington.

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