Update: The government charged former WorldCom chief Bernie Ebbers with securities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud and making false filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, reports TheStreet.com.
The indictment specifically cites four allegedly false statements that Ebbers made either in conference calls to analysts or on television as evidence he was seeking to mislead the investing public. On April 26, 2001, prosecutors said Ebbers falsely stated during a conference call to analysts that he saw “no storms on the horizon for WorldCom.” On another occasion on Feb. 7, 2002, he told CNBC that WorldCom was a “sound financial company” that had “been very conservative” in its accounting. (The Washington Post) [Incidentally these were the very issues which were brought up in the WorldCon chapter in Broadbandits, and also the other cheap tricks Bernie’s Gang resorted to in the go-go years!]
It is just a gorgeous day out here in San Francisco. After a long spell of rains, it feels like things are going back to normal. Well as normal as they can get. I see the sun is shining a little brighter because I just read in the Wall Street Journal that Bernie Ebbers, the CEO of WorldCon is going to be indicted on criminal charges by the US government. It has been long time coming, but come it has! WorldCon’s chief financial officer Scott Sullivan, will plead guilty to unspecified criminal charges Tuesday in New York, the paper reports. Sullivan, will face civilian charges by the SEC.
Here is a tiny excerpt about WorldCon from my book, Broadbandits: Inside the $750 Billion Telecom Heist. (Shamelessly plugging it right now so please buy a copy if you have not!)
Sullivan told U.S. District Judge Barbara K. Jones that he and WorldCom’s “management at the highest level” tampered with the company’s accounting to inflate revenue and reduce expenses from September 2000 to June 2002. They “were aware of no legitimate business or accounting basis for these adjustments,” Sullivan said at the plea hearing. “I understood it was wrong,” Sullivan said. “I deeply regret my actions.” (The Washington Post)