A bankruptcy judge has approved a $200 million plan to compensate victims of a 2012 meningitis outbreak caused by a now-closed Massachusetts compounding pharmacy.

The money will be available to compensate the New England Compounding Center's creditors and victims who became ill or died as the result of receiving tainted steroid injections, under a plan approved Tuesday by a U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge in Massachusetts.

The fungal meningitis outbreak killed 64 people and sickened over 750 in 20 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Lawyers involved in the case expect victims should begin receiving payments before the end of the year. The plan comes as 14 former employees of the center _ including its founders and majority shareholder _ face federal racketeering charges  (Associated Press)