WorldCom Owes Louisiana Big

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WorldCom owes the state of Louisiana a $900,000 payment under a prison telephone contract, but the telecommunications company is unable to pay after filing for bankruptcy in July.

WorldCom signed a five-year contract in February to provide pay phone service for inmates in the state's adult and juvenile prisons. The company missed the July payment of roughly 900,000 dollars on orders from the bankruptcy court, which determines which debts WorldCom pays.

Richard Stalder, secretary of the state Department of Corrections, said the July payment was the only one WorldCom has missed.

WorldCom officials said the company would deliver the missed payment as soon as the bankruptcy courts allows.

Under the contract, MCI WorldCom operates all prison pay phones used by inmates, which only allow collect calls.