SEC Investigating WorldCom Creditors Committee

WorldCom, which left Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection in April, now calls itself MCI Inc.

The investigation came to light in an Aug. 24 bankruptcy filing in which the committee asked for MCI to pay for fees that arise from the SEC probe. MCI on Wednesday responded to that request, saying it shouldn't have to pick up the tab.

On July 2, the SEC subpoenaed 11 committee members, requesting they hand over documents from as far back as July 29, 2002, days after WorldCom's Chapter 11 filing.

Among the documents sought by the SEC is information reviewed by the committee on the company's "financial condition and business prospects."

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Also sought are communications between the committee and its advisers, consultants, accountants and WorldCom.

The request is for "thousands if not millions of pages" of information, the creditors committee said in its August filing.

The SEC's action is unusual. "You've got to figure that this is something significant because the SEC is usually so hands-off when it comes to bankruptcy cases," said Bill Rochelle, a bankruptcy lawyer with Fulbright and Jaworski LLP.

MCI spokesman Peter Lucht declined to comment on the matter. Lawyers at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld LLP, which represents the committee, weren't immediately available.

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