Feeds

Ebbers feared fortune would be 'wiped out'

Witness cites possible motive for alleged fraud

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

Bernie Ebbers feared that his personal fortune would be "wiped out" unless something was done to improve the financial health of ailing telecoms outfit WorldCom. Former financial controller David Myers recalled a meeting in 2001 where the former WorldCom boss called on senior execs to turn the company around. The stock price was falling as expenses spiralled and revenues had dipped.

Testifying on Friday, Myers told the court that Ebbers had said that if things didn't improve "everything that I worked for since I joined WorldCom will basically be wiped out". Recalling the meeting, Myers continued: "He made a plea to everybody to do everything they could possibly do to work to reduce costs."

Reuters also reports that Myers recounted Ebbers telling him that "while this company was in extraordinary times, extraordinary things had to be done."

During the opening week of this case the prosecution has sought to prove three key planks of their case. First, that Ebbers had a sufficient grasp of financial matters that he had the know-how to commit a complex financial fraud. Last week Adam Quinton, an analyst at financial giant Merrill Lynch & Co, told the court that when Ebbers was quizzed on some fairly complex financial matters he was able to answer in a "in a reasonable amount of detail".

Second, that he was aware of what was going on. On Thursday, Myers testified that Ebbers had apologised to him in 2000 after the financial controller was ordered to doctor the company's expenses. Recalling a conversation he had with Ebbers, Myers said his boss told him: "I'm sorry you were asked to do what you were asked to do. It's something that you should not have been put in that position to do."

Lastly, Myers testimony on Friday shows that Ebbers had a financial motive to do what the prosecution alleges.

For his part, Ebbers denies being involved in one of the US's biggest corporate scandals. He says he was incapable of organising such a widespread and complex fraud and instead claims that Scott Sullivan, WorldCom's former CFO, was behind the scandal.

The trial is expected to last eight weeks. ®

Related stories

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

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.