WASHINGTON - Mississippi, Chicago, and five other municipal bond issuers have filed two class action suits in a federal district court here against Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and 35 other banks, brokers, insurance companies, and investment advisory firms, charging that issuers have been hurt by alleged widespread price fixing and bid-rigging in the multimillion-dollar municipal derivatives industry since 1992.

The two suits, one of which is against Bank of America , and the other against 36 additional companies , were filed March 12 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. While seven issuers are listed as plaintiffs, lawyers are working to get other state and local governments to join the suits. A spokesman for Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum said Friday, "We have not yet determined whether to intervene in these two lawsuits but we are aware of these allegations and have been reviewing them."

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