updated 5/9/2005 11:58:53 AM ET 2005-05-09T15:58:53

MCI will pay $100 million in cash to cover back taxes that predecessor WorldCom Inc. owed the state of Mississippi, Attorney General Jim Hood announced Monday.

The telecommunications company also will turn its former headquarters building in downtown Jackson plus four smaller buildings over to the state as part of the settlement, Hood said.

WorldCom collapsed in 2002 amid revelations of an $11 billion accounting fraud to inflate earnings and hide expenses.

WorldCom, which got its start in Mississippi, was once based in Jackson and later in nearby Clinton. MCI is now based in Ashburn, Va., and recently accepted an $8.54 billion buyout offer from Verizon Communications Inc.

The $100 million will cover back taxes, including corporate income taxes, owed to the state, Hood said.

In March, former WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers was convicted on charges of fraud, conspiracy and false regulatory filings in the WorldCom accounting scandal. Ebbers' sentencing is set for June 13.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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