Waste Management Inc. $457 million securities Settlement

Waste Management Inc. has settled a class action lawsuit for $457 million. The company, based out of Houston, had the suit brought upon them in response to alleged federal securities violations. The lawsuit stems from problems from a merger between USA Waste Services Inc. and Waste Management. This comes after a $220 million settlement with Waste Management investors by the company's accountants at Arthur Andersen LLP for suspected professional malpractice, as well as another $20 million dollar suit paid to Waste Management itself. Waste Management was under federal review by the Securities & Exchange Commission and lost roughly $3.5 billion in various charges. Its stock also fell sharply, from 31 cents in 2000 to 5 in 2001. The Waste Management suit is very similar to the Enron Corp. case, with the main common factor being the Arthur Andersen accounting firm. The firm was also provided accounting services for WorldCom, another company facing legal problems. All of the Waste Management settlements have still to be approved by South Texas judge. (Nov-09-01) []

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