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Former WorldCom Officers Charged in Connection With Corporate Fraud - 2002-08-01

Criminal charges have been filed against two former WorldCom financial officers in connection with the world's largest corporate bankruptcy.

Fired WorldCom chief financial officer Scott Sullivan and former company controller David Myers were taken into custody. A federal criminal complaint charges them with securities fraud and conspiracy.

WorldCom, the nation's second largest long distance provider, disclosed in June that it hid nearly $4 billion in expenses while falsely stating profits. The company filed for bankruptcy last month, and remains the target of an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission into allegations of fraud.

These criminal charges are likely to increase pressure on both former WorldCom officials to cooperate with prosecutors in their investigation of potential wrongdoing by former chief executive Bernard Ebbers.

The Mississippi-based company operates in more than 64-countries and also owns long-distance carrier MCI. It had been one of the best performing stocks on Wall Street during the 1990's.

Since June, the company has had to fire more than 10,000 employees and insiders say more dismissals are expected.