New York is playing host to two high profile trials, both starting today. Dennis Kozlowski, the high living Tyco CEO accused of bleeding his company of more than $600 million is going to go back to the court today, after his first trial last spring was declared a mistrial. Jury tampering was part of the dirty tricks pulled in the last time around, so this time well Dennis is not going to be a Menace. And then there is the trial of milkman-turned-bouncer-turned-telecom guru-turned Broadbandit, WorldCom’s Bernie Ebbers. “In Ebbers’ defense are company insiders who say Ebbers couldn’t have masterminded all that damage because he didn’t have the financial knowledge or acumen to pull it off,” reports The New York Post. New York Times’ Ken Belson does a good job of reminding us of Ebbers’ sins and his role in destroying WorldCom. Just to recap: Ebbers is accused of perpetrating an $11 billion accounting fraud, that led to the largest bankruptcy ever. If convicted on all counts, Mr. Ebbers, 63, faces a prison sentence as long as 85 years, Belson writes.
“Every publicly traded company can thank Bernie Ebbers for Sarbanes-Oxley and the handcuffs they operate under today,” said Scott C. Cleland, a telecommunications analyst at the Precursor Group. “It’s everyone else’s punishment for his misdeeds.”
Hey, I know it might be time to buy a copy of Broadbandits and brush up on all the shenanigans of Bernie & Company.