WorldCom Agrees to Settle

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WorldCom has agreed to pay a record $500 million to settle civil fraud charges, arising from its multi-billion dollar accounting scandal. That's the word from lawyers for the company and the federal government.

The fine would be the largest fine ever imposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission on a company, outside the brokerage industry.

Attorneys for both sides have presented the proposed settlement to a federal judge in Manhattan, who said he won't rule on the proposal before June 11.

WorldCom, reorganizing under bankruptcy court supervision, is accused of misleading investors by falsifying balance sheets to hide expenses and inflate earnings. As part of an image makeover, it is changing its name to MCI.