Annapolis, Md. (March 26, 2004) -- Maryland is seeking up to $130 million in back taxes, penalties and interest from MCI, formerly known as WorldCom.

Comptroller William Donald Schaefer filed income tax claims against the company in New York bankruptcy court this week, alleging that MCI/WorldCom owes the state $62 million in tax, penalties and interest for tax years 1999-2002 as a result of illegal royalty deductions and income-shifting strategies. An additional claim of $55 million was filed as a defensive action, so that even if a court rules that the royalty deductions were proper, the entities receiving the royalties would still owe Maryland tax. The balance, about $13 million, represents additional claims for a non-filing entity for tax years 1993-2002.

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