WASHINGTON — J.P. Morgan Securities could pay up to $44.6 million for allegedly manipulating municipal bond contracts in a proposed settlement the JPMorgan Chase (JPM) unit reached with municipal bond issuers.

Judge Victor Marrero of the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York in Manhattan preliminarily approved the terms of the settlement Monday.

Plaintiffs in the case include the city of Baltimore, the University of Mississippi Medical Center, the University of Southern Mississippi, the Mississippi Department of Transportation, the University of Mississippi, the Central Bucks School District and the Bucks County Water & Sewer Authority.

The court scheduled a so-called “fairness hearing” for December 14 to determine whether the proposed settlement will be finally approved.

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