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Ebbers Reportedly Was Told About Accounting

Mar 12, 2003 | www.thestreet.com Former WorldCom Chief Executive Bernard Ebbers reportedly was told about the company's shady accounting months before it came to light and brought about the carrier's bankruptcy.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Ebbers received a voicemail from the company's CFO, Scott Sullivan, in June 2001 in which Sullivan makes reference to two sets of numbers and says: "We are going to dig ourselves into a huge hole because year-to-date, it is disguising what is going on on the recurring side of the business."

The voicemail was contained in an internal report prepared by law firm Wilmer Cutler & Pickering that also included an April 2000 email suggesting Ebbers knew about irregular accounting, the newspaper said, citing people who have read the report.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have asked WorldCom to delay releasing the report, saying it could complicate a continuing probe into what Ebbers and others at WorldCom knew about the firm's fraudulent accounting practices, the Journal said.

WorldCom filed for bankruptcy protection in July 2002.

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