A federal judge approved a civil settlement requiring WorldCom fraudster Bernie Ebbers to pay out $5 million and forfeit nearly all his assets.
U.S. District Judge Denise Cote cleared the settlement, which came in a class-action lawsuit brought by New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi.
Ebbers is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday for his role in the $11 billion book-cooking scheme that led to the collapse of the No. 2 long distance phone company. The 63-year-old founder of WorldCom, which emerged from bankruptcy last year as
and is planning a merger with
, faces up to 85 years in jail.
To settle the civil case, Ebbers will surrender his luxury home in Clinton, Miss., a major tax refund, his stakes in timberland property, a lumber company, a trucking venture, a marina, a golf course, a rice farm, a hotel and other real estate.
These assets are to be put in a trust and then sold for an estimated $25 million to $40 million, with 75% of the proceeds going to members of the WorldCom shareholder suit. The rest of the proceeds will go to MCI, which stepped in to cover Ebbers' personal loans.