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Securities and Exchange Commission

is expected to present a partial settlement of civil fraud charges against


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Tuesday in Manhattan federal court.

The hearing is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. EST in front of U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff. WorldCom, which has operated under bankruptcy-court protection since its July 21 Chapter 11 filing, has said it inflated profit by at least $9 billion during the past three years.

A partial settlement in the SEC's civil case against the company would close one chapter of a sordid book, but many others remain open. Various WorldCom execs have turned state's witness as prosecutors pursue alleged wrongdoing by the company's former officers, including financial chief Scott Sullivan. Many observers believe prosecutors are attempting to build a case against founder and longtime CEO Bernie Ebbers, who left the company in April, before the extent of the accounting problems was known.