New York (March 25, 2004) -- A U.S. bankruptcy judge here has instructed WorldCom Inc. -- now known as MCI -- to temporarily stop paying its accountant, KPMG, following a request by 14 states that the Big Four firm be disqualified as the firm's auditor, MCI confirmed.

"As a standard procedural step, Judge Gonzalez confirmed that the motion by the multi-state tax commission to disgorge fees is viewed as an objection to the automatic advancement of fees, and the bankruptcy court has a standing order that provides that if the are any objections, the advancement of fees automatically stops," MCI spokeswoman Stefanie Scott told WebCPA. "The temporary cessation of payments has absolutely nothing to do with the merits of the motion which are scheduled to be addressed by the courts on April 13."

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