WorldCom Inc., Ashburn, Va., settled securities fraud charges filed by the state of Oklahoma, state Attorney General Drew Edmondson's office announced today. As part of the settlement, WorldCom, also known as MCI, will create 1,600 jobs in Oklahoma by 2014, valued as a $100 million benefit to the state, said Charlie Price, spokesman for Mr. Edmondson. Criminal charges are still pending in state court against former WorldCom executives, Mr. Price said.
The company was accused of misleading Oklahoma investors. Oklahoma's $6.9 billion teachers' retirement system, $4.8 billion public employees' plan, $1.3 billion police plan and $1.3 billion firefighters' plan, all in Oklahoma City, lost a combined $57 million on WorldCom holdings, according to figures from the attorney general's office.
"In reaching today's settlement, the Oklahoma Attorney General acknowledged that MCI has taken dramatic steps over the past year to start a new chapter in our company's history," MCI deputy general counsel Carol Ann Petren said in a statement.