WorldCom CFO lied, he admits to court

Sullivan faces cross examination


Defence lawyers for ex-WorldCom boss Bernie Ebbers attempted to undermine the credibility of the government's star witness yesterday by getting former CFO Scott Sullivan to admit he lied about the accounting fraud.

Facing his first day of cross examination Sullivan, 42, told the court he lied to board members and investors over the $11bn (£5.8bn) accounting scandal. Ebbers defence lawyer Reid Weingarten also probed Sullivan's private life and his use of cocaine and marijuana.

Weingarten told the court that Sullivan was only testifying for the government in return for a lighter sentence, although the former CFO denied this.

In one exchange, reports the BBC, Weingarten referred to a meeting Sullivan had with auditors in 2002.

"If you believe something is in your interest, you are willing and able to lie to accomplish it, isn't that right?" asked Weingarten.

"On that date, yes. I was lying," replied Mr Sullivan.

Sullivan has already pleaded guilty to his part in the accounting scandal that led to the financial collapse of WorldCom in 2002. Ebbers denies the fraud charges against him. ®

Related stories

Ebbers trial halted 'till Wednesday
Ebbers failed to tell of book fiddling
Ebbers 'drove Worldcom fraud' - Sullivan
Sullivan fingers Ebbers in WorldCom fraud whodunnit
WorldCom directors $54m lawsuit deal unravels
Ebbers fortune at risk as share prices slid
Former Worldcom directors cough up $18m
Ebbers never made 'an accounting decision' - witness
Ebbers feared fortune would be 'wiped out'
Ebbers knew of financial fiddling
Ebbers' financial know-how probed
Gloves off in Ebbers WorldCom fraud trial
Ebbers fraud trial kicks off
Ebbers faces WorldCom court showdown
Former Worldcom directors cough up $18m
MCI breaks free from Chapter 11
WorldCom gets sums wrong by $74bn
Bernie Ebbers faces criminal charges


Other stories you might like

  • Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns
    Forget dark-web souks, thousands of these are already being traded on public bazaars

    Russian crooks are selling network credentials and virtual private network access for a "multitude" of US universities and colleges on criminal marketplaces, according to the FBI.

    According to a warning issued on Thursday, these stolen credentials sell for thousands of dollars on both dark web and public internet forums, and could lead to subsequent cyberattacks against individual employees or the schools themselves.

    "The exposure of usernames and passwords can lead to brute force credential stuffing computer network attacks, whereby attackers attempt logins across various internet sites or exploit them for subsequent cyber attacks as criminal actors take advantage of users recycling the same credentials across multiple accounts, internet sites, and services," the Feds' alert [PDF] said.

    Continue reading
  • Big Tech loves talking up privacy – while trying to kill privacy legislation
    Study claims Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, Microsoft work to derail data rules

    Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft often support privacy in public statements, but behind the scenes they've been working through some common organizations to weaken or kill privacy legislation in US states.

    That's according to a report this week from news non-profit The Markup, which said the corporations hire lobbyists from the same few groups and law firms to defang or drown state privacy bills.

    The report examined 31 states when state legislatures were considering privacy legislation and identified 445 lobbyists and lobbying firms working on behalf of Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft, along with industry groups like TechNet and the State Privacy and Security Coalition.

    Continue reading
  • SEC probes Musk for not properly disclosing Twitter stake
    Meanwhile, social network's board rejects resignation of one its directors

    America's financial watchdog is investigating whether Elon Musk adequately disclosed his purchase of Twitter shares last month, just as his bid to take over the social media company hangs in the balance. 

    A letter [PDF] from the SEC addressed to the tech billionaire said he "[did] not appear" to have filed the proper form detailing his 9.2 percent stake in Twitter "required 10 days from the date of acquisition," and asked him to provide more information. Musk's shares made him one of Twitter's largest shareholders. The letter is dated April 4, and was shared this week by the regulator.

    Musk quickly moved to try and buy the whole company outright in a deal initially worth over $44 billion. Musk sold a chunk of his shares in Tesla worth $8.4 billion and bagged another $7.14 billion from investors to help finance the $21 billion he promised to put forward for the deal. The remaining $25.5 billion bill was secured via debt financing by Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Barclays, and others. But the takeover is not going smoothly.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022