J.P. Morgan Chase agreed today to pay $2 billion to settle claims related to WorldCom Inc. bond offerings in 2000 and 2001, which J.P. Morgan Securities and certain affiliates partly underwrote, confirmed John Chartier, spokesman for New York State Comptroller Alan G. Hevesi.
Mr. Hevesi, sole trustee of the $117.4 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund, Albany, is lead plaintiff in class-action litigation against two remaining underwriters of WorldCom bonds - Blaylock & Partners and Utendahl Capital - as well as former WorldCom directors. The trial is scheduled to begin Thursday in U.S. District Court in New York.
Today's settlement brings the total of settlements reached in the case so far to $6 billion. The settlements must be approved by the court.
"J.P. Morgan Chase is one of the most important financial institutions in the U.S. and in New York," Mr. Hevesi said in a statement. "I am particularly pleased that the management of the bank has decided to put this issue from the past behind it so it can focus on growing and creating jobs. We remain willing to talk with other defendants about potential settlements, but we remain focused on the start of the trial against any remaining defendants."