A U.S. judge in New York approved the $6.1 billion WorldCom settlement.
The approval Wednesday by District Court Judge Denise Cote clears the way for payments to about 830,000 investors and institutions that lost money in WorldCom's $11 billion fraud and collapse.
WorldCom emerged from bankruptcy as
and is involved in a pending merger with
Earlier this year, investors negotiated more than $6 billion worth of settlements from about a dozen banks named as defendants in shareholder lawsuits. The final settlement tally is just shy of the $7 billion payout coming to Enron investors.
Among the biggest WorldCom bankers that agreed to reimburse investors is
JP Morgan Chase
. JP Morgan agreed to pay $2 billion and Citigroup $2.65 billion to settle the litigation.
Convicted fraudster and former WorldCom CEO Bernie Ebbers has been forced to sell nearly all his personal holdings to contribute to a fund to repay shareholders. Ebbers is currently appealing his conviction and 25-year prison sentence.