Prosecutors Seeking Martha Indictment

06/03/2003 01:00PM

It's official: After more than a year of investigating Martha Stewart for possible insider trading, federal prosecutors are going to proceed with a criminal indictment against the domestic diva "in the near future," her company, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. announced Tuesday, the Associated Press reports.

Stewart, 61, has been the target of an investigation for having dumped her shares of the biotech company ImClone Systems Inc. in December 2001, one day before the Food and Drug Administration was to bypass approval of its colon cancer drug.

From the beginning, Stewart has denied any wrongdoing in her ImClone sale.

In a statement, Omnimedia said Stewart's lawyers informed the company that she is the target of a criminal investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, and that a civil complaint by the Securities and Exchange Commission also is expected.

The statement didn't elaborate on the possible charges, said AP.

Omnimedia said its board of directors has been planning for a number of possible contingencies, is evaluating the current situation and will take action as appropriate.

AP's request for a comment from Stewart's attorney was not immediately answered.

The U.S. Attorney's Office had no immediate comment when reached Tuesday morning.

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