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Ebbers in the dark over accounting scandal - witness

WorldCom trial continues

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Bernie Ebbers was not aware of the $11bn (£5.8bn) accounting fraud that torpedoed the telecoms giant in 2002, a court heard yesterday.

At the WorldCom fraud trial in New York yesterday, Bert Roberts, honorary chairman of the company at the time, recalled a conversation he had with CFO Scott Sullivan when details of the accounting scandal were beginning to emerge.

"I asked Scott if Bernie knew. Scott's answer was Bernie did not know about the journal entries," Roberts told the court, reports Reuters.

Roberts' testimony contradicts Sullivan's evidence. The former CFO, who has already pleaded guilty to his part in the fraud, had testified earlier that Ebbers was aware of the book fiddling. Sullivan also testified that he told Ebbers that the book cooking "wasn't right".

Ebbers denies the fraud charges against him. ®

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