Settlements between former WorldCom executives, the company's bond underwriters and accountant Arthur Andersen and Alan G. Hevesi, New York comptroller and sole trustee of the $120 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund, Albany, received final approval today from U.S. District Court Judge Denise Cote in New York. Mr. Hevesi is lead plaintiff in the civil securities lawsuit.
Jeff Golan, an attorney with Barrack, Rodos and Bacine, co-lead counsel for Mr. Hevesi, said with today's approval, the process of distributing the more than $6.14 billion in settlement funds from the defendants to class members will begin.
"There is always the possibility of some appeals, but the court granting final approval will allow us to start calculating each of the claims that have been made so there can be a distribution," Mr. Golan said in a telephone interview. "The court's approval of these settlements marks the culmination of this important case, which has changed the way investment banks now conduct due diligence and the way boards of directors must approach their duties to supervise management."
In July, former WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers was sentenced to 25 years in prison for his role in the $11 billion WorldCom accounting fraud.