In a move that is expected to expand the potential liability for corporate directors whose companies commit accounting fraud on their watch, 10 former board members of WorldCom Inc. have tentatively agreed to pay $54 million, including $18 million of their own money, to settle their part of a class-action lawsuit brought by investors who lost billions when the telecommunications giant collapsed amid one of the largest accounting scandals in history, according to published reports.

Under the agreement, the remaining $36 million would be paid by the directors' liability insurers, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times reported.

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