ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal bankruptcy judge has given the go-ahead for a plan that would pay about $26.5 million to hundreds of thousands of customers and other creditors of US Fidelis.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Charles Rendlen III approved the plan on Monday.

Wentzville, Mo.-based US Fidelis was once among the nation’s leading sellers of vehicle-service contracts before it collapsed in 2009, accused of cheating customers by selling them vehicle protection coverage that was essentially worthless.

About 625,000 consumers purchased vehicle-protection plans from US Fidelis.

The plan calls for about $14.1 million to go to a national consumer-restitution fund administered by state attorneys general.

© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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