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 June 13, 2003
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Martha's troubles grow...Crude prices slip...Another Enron arrest
Wednesday,June4,2003,2:57 AM
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New York-AP -- She didn't show up for her company's shareholders' meeting, but Martha Stewart may soon have to answer insider trading charges.

Federal prosecutors are close to hitting the domestic design diva with criminal charges in the scandal that has been hanging over her head for the past year.

Her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, disclosed just hours before its annual meeting yesterday (Tuesday) that federal prosecutors in New York are seeking a grand jury indictment of Stewart.

Shares of her media company plunged on the news that the scandal could bring down Stewart, the embodiment of the brand. The stock fell one dollar, 68 cents -- or 15 percent -- to close at nine dollars, 52 cents on the New York Stock Exchange.

Her lawyer says Stewart will fight any charges.

(New York-Dow Jones/AP) -- Crude oil futures remain above 30 dollars a barrel despite some selling pressure.

Market participants say the primary reason why prices dropped yesterday (Tuesday), for the first time in four days, was news that OPEC probably won't trim crude output at its meeting nest week.

As crude stockpiles remain slow to move off their historic lows, trade has become increasingly sensitive to any indication of fluctuations in oil exports.

In New York trading, crude futures for July delivery settled at 30 dollars, 67 cents a barrel, down four cents on the day.

(San Francisco-AP) -- A third former Enron executive has been arrested, accused of helping the firm manipulate energy markets, prompting blackouts in California.

The U-S attorney in San Francisco accuses John Forney of designing illegal schemes Enron used to drive up California's energy prices between 1999 and 2001.

U-S Attorney Kevin Ryan says Enron fraudulently manipulated the markets "while California consumers were suffering through blackouts." He says the investigation continues.

The complaint accuses Forney of cooking up schemes known as "Ping Pong" and "Death Star." It says they were designed to evade federal price caps on California energy and to exploit weaknesses in the state's energy management.

Forney was arrested in Ohio, and released pending a Monday hearing. His attorney says the charges are "without merit." Two other former Enron traders have pleaded guilty to similar charges.

(Trenton, New Jersey-AP) -- Schering-Plough says it's reached an agreement with regulators on a plan to rectify manufacturing deficiencies.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the maker of allergy, respiratory and hepatitis C medications said the Food and Drug Administration had approved plans to bring four manufacturing plants into compliance with F-D-A standards.

The deficiencies led to a record 500 (m) million dollar fine a year ago.

An F-D-A spokeswoman confirms that the agency has signed off on the work plan.

Schering-Plough shares rose ten cents to close at 18 dollars, 28 cents on the New York Stock Exchange.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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