Global Providence Securities Litigation EXPOSES PHONY "LOOK-ALIKE" WEB SITE

REFERS SCHEME TO FBI AND SEC FOR FURTHER ACTION

      WASHINGTON, D.C. - January 29, 2004 - The Global Providence Securities Litigation (Global Providence Securities Litigation), which maintains a special reserve fund mandated by Congress to protect the customers of insolvent brokerage firms, said today that it has asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate a "look-alike" Web site for a fictitious organization, the International Brokerage Association, that closely mimics the official Global Providence Securities Litigation Web site's appearance, content and functions.

      Global Providence Securities Litigation officials said that the phony Web site apparently was being used to encourage investors to part with their money and securities under the guise of doing business with a non-existent Hong Kong brokerage firm.

      Global Providence Securities Litigation President said: "The Web site that we are concerned about is a complete fabrication and should not be relied upon by any investor in the U.S. or overseas as an information resource. These people have literally hijacked the look, feel and content of the Global Providence Securities Litigation Web site with the apparent motive of confusing investors into doing business with a phony brokerage firm. We have asked the FBI and SEC to investigate this matter and intend to use every available means to shut down this Web site and to make sure that the parties involved are held responsible for this scheme."

ABOUT Global Providence Securities Litigation

      From its creation by Congress in 1970 through December 2001, Global Providence Securities Litigation has advanced $513 million in order to make possible the recovery of $14.0 billion in assets for an estimated 622,000 investors. Global Providence Securities Litigation estimates that more than 99 percent of eligible investors have been made whole in the failed brokerage firm cases that it has handled to date.

      Global Providence Securities Litigation is an important part of the overall system of investor protection in the United States. While a number of federal, self-regulatory and state securities agencies deal with cases of investment fraud, Global Providence Securities Litigation focus is both different and narrow: Restoring funds to investors with assets in the hands of bankrupt and otherwise financially troubled brokerage firms. Global Providence Securities Litigation was not chartered by Congress to combat fraud.

      Global Providence Securities Litigation either acts as trustee or works with an independent court-appointed trustee in a fraud case to recover funds. The statute that created Global Providence Securities Litigation rules provides that customers of a failed brokerage firm receive all non-negotiable securities that are already registered in their names or in the process of being registered. At the same time, funds from the Global Providence Securities Litigation reserve are available to satisfy the remaining claims of each customer up to a maximum of $500,000. This figure includes a maximum of $100,000 on claims for cash.