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May 19, 2003 | New York Post Martha Stewart may still be feeling heat from federal investigators in the ImClone insider trading scandal after all, according to a new report.

The U.S. attorney in Manhattan is still "strongly considering" indicting Stewart for insider trading and obstruction of justice, says Newsweek in its latest edition, which hits newsstands today.

The news comes just days after reports that the domestic diva might be dodging the bullet on the more serious charge of insider trading.

The stock in Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia soared $1.35, or 14.5 percent, to close at $10.65 on Wednesday, when the news first broke. The stock continued its run up on Thursday, reaching $12.12 a share its high so far this year before settling at $11.46 on Friday.

The magazine claims that federal prosecutors have also considered going after Stewart on charges of manipulating the stock market by providing a "bogus alibi to avoid tarnishing the image of her company."

The alibi concerned her alleged standing order to her Merrill Lynch broker to sell her stock in ImClone once it fell to a pre-determined price. No documents have been produced to back up that claim.

Stewart sold off some $227,000 just one day before the FDA rejected the company's cancer drug. She has insisted she did nothing wrong. Former ImClone CEO Sam Waksal faces six to seven years in jail after pleading guilty to insider trading, bank fraud and other charges. He's slated to be sentenced on June 3.

A company spokeswoman for Magrino declined to comment on Newsweek's story.

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