Ten former directors of WorldCom will reportedly pay $54 million to settle charges they were asleep at the switch during the accounting scandal that brought the telecom giant into insolvency.

The directors, none of whom work for WorldCom's Nasdaq-traded successor, MCI ( MCIP), will foot $18 million of the payout from their own bank accounts, reports said Thursday. The rest of the money will be paid by insurance.

The settlement is currently an agreement in principle that must be signed by the directors and approved by a federal judge. About 15 investment banks are also defendants in the suit, which was filed by bondholders who were pummeled when the company filed for bankruptcy protection in 2002.

According to reports, the directors covered by the settlement are James C. Allen, Judith Areen, Carl J. Aycock, Max E. Bobbitt, Clifford L. Alexander Jr., Stiles A. Kellett Jr., Gordon S. Macklin, John A. Porter, Lawrence C. Tucker and the estate of the late John W. Sidgmore.

None of those named were alleged to have played a role in the accounting fraud. The $18 million would make up about 20% of their personal net worth.

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