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By MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE | May 3, 2005
MINNEAPOLIS - These are good times for stockholders of long-distance firm MCI Inc., the beneficiaries of a high-stakes bidding war. MCI accepted yesterday a sweetened $8.4 billion bid from Verizon Communications Inc. over a rival $9.75 billion offer from Qwest. But that won't help another, forgotten class of shareholders - those who lost everything when MCI, formerly known as WorldCom, filed for the nation's largest bankruptcy in July 2002, because of an accounting fraud scandal. By the time WorldCom emerged from bankruptcy as MCI in April 2004, its original common stock was worth nothing and thousands of stockholders had watched their money vanish.
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NEWS
By CHRIS YAKAITIS | July 30, 2006
Michelle T. Stallings Occupation Director of the Office of Field Operations for the Maryland Department of Human Resources. In the News Stallings organized, coordinated and staffed the repatriation center at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport to help American evacuees from Lebanon return to their homes as quickly as possible. Her work brought together various state agencies, the American Red Cross and other nonprofit organizations to provide 24-hour support for the repatriation effort.
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BUSINESS
By BLOOMBERG NEWS | October 3, 1997
JACKSON, Miss. -- WorldCom Inc. shares yesterday surged more than 9 percent amid optimism that the company's $33.88 billion bid for MCI Communications Corp. will succeed, making WorldCom a telecommunications powerhouse.WorldCom shares jumped $3.50, or 9.2 percent, to a record high $37.88. MCI shares climbed $1.3125 to close at $36.625. Buying MCI would make little-known WorldCom the No. 2 U.S. long-distance provider with a quarter of the $70-billion-a-year market and a big chunk of the world's mushrooming Internet traffic.
BUSINESS
By Laura Smitherman and Laura Smitherman,SUN STAFF | August 12, 2005
If putting WorldCom Inc.'s head honcho Bernard J. Ebbers in prison for perhaps the rest of his life sends a message to Corporate America to clean up its act, legal experts say the lighter sentence handed down yesterday to his right-hand man, Scott Sullivan, sends another message to wrongdoers: cooperate. Sullivan, WorldCom's chief financial officer under Ebbers until an $11 billion accounting fraud drove the telecom giant into bankruptcy, was sentenced to five years in prison yesterday.
BUSINESS
By JAY HANCOCK | November 10, 2002
IN LIFE, WorldCom tormented its rivals by wrapping the planet in telecom capacity, thus depressing prices, and then lying about its profits, which made everybody else look like slackers. In death, or something like it, WorldCom still weighs on its enemies. Having hung on to some $20 billion in yearly revenue, the company is moving through a debt-cleaning machine known as the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in lower Manhattan. Verizon Communications, SBC Communications and other competitors worry that what emerges will be an intact, buff WorldCom, shorn of legal and financial sins, ready to wreak new havoc.
BUSINESS
By Joseph Menn and Joseph Menn,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | July 6, 2002
Some of WorldCom Inc.'s big corporate customers are scrambling to line up alternate suppliers for systems that transmit company data internally and to business partners and customers, but analysts predict that many companies will suffer one way or another from WorldCom's problems. The majority of the largest clients have long-term contracts with WorldCom that set steep penalties for switching, even if WorldCom files for bankruptcy reorganization. As a result, many companies might be forced to choose between paying those breakup fees and letting their vital communication networks deteriorate.
BUSINESS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | March 17, 2004
Three big banks expressed misgivings internally about WorldCom Inc.'s financial soundness in early 2001, just months before they helped the company sell $12 billion in debt, according to documents filed in federal court in Manhattan yesterday. But their doubts - and the basis for them - were not disclosed to investors who bought the debt 14 months before WorldCom filed for bankruptcy. The role that banks may have played in papering over WorldCom's financial problems, which led to billions in investor losses, has not been determined.
BUSINESS
By BLOOMBERG NEWS | October 27, 1997
WASHINGTON -- MCI Communications Corp. is likely to get a higher bid from WorldCom Inc. or GTE Corp. as the companies vie for the No. 2 U.S. long-distance phone provider to offer nationwide telephone, Internet and wireless services on one customer bill, analysts say."MCI is in play," said Jeffrey Kagan, president of Kagan Telecom Associates in Atlanta. "Nobody wants to leave the table without a fight."With billions of dollars at stake, analysts aren't willing to estimate how much either company might raise its bid, although they said GTE has an advantage with its cash offer of $40 a share.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | July 7, 2002
An internal investigation into accounting irregularities at WorldCom Inc. is continuing despite a report that indicated that the Justice Department is seeking to curtail it as it conducts its own inquiry, said the head of the company's internal inquiry. William R. McLucas, former chief of the enforcement division at the Securities and Exchange Commission, who is conducting the internal investigation at WorldCom, said Friday that he was in steady communication with the Justice Department, in addition to the SEC, which is also investigating the company's accounting.
BUSINESS
By Mark Jaffe and Mark Jaffe,BLOOMBERG NEWS | June 27, 2002
NEW YORK - WorldCom. Inc.'s board met four times last year, too few meetings for a company facing problems, corporate governance experts said yesterday. "This is your classic cheerleader board on cruise control," said Patrick McGurn, vice president at Institutional Shareholder Services, a corporate governance and proxy analyst in Rockville. WorldCom revealed that it hid $3.8 billion in expenses for more than a year and fabricated profits. The SEC is investigating the company's accounting practices, and the Justice Department opened a criminal investigation.
NEWS
By Jamie Court | July 26, 2005
IN A BETTER WORLD, today's Senate confirmation hearings on the nomination of Rep. Christopher Cox (R-California) to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission would be the Democratic Party's finest hour. The hearings offer a perfect opportunity to decry Wall Street's looting of Main Street and to put the GOP on trial for creating the conditions under which corporate criminals flourished. Instead, Democrats have been eerily silent on Mr. Cox, a right-wing Republican who wrote a 1995 law making it harder for investors to take corporate swindlers to court.
NEWS
By Walter Hamilton and Walter Hamilton,LOS ANGELES TIMES | July 14, 2005
NEW YORK - From humble roots as a milkman and motel owner, Bernard J. Ebbers built a small telecommunications company into an industry giant - becoming a symbol of what a brash entrepreneur could do in the technology boom of the late 1990s. Yesterday, Ebbers became a symbol of a different kind when a federal judge sentenced the former WorldCom Inc. chief executive to 25 years in prison - essentially a life sentence - for spearheading the largest accounting fraud in U.S. history. In a wave of corporate wrongdoing cases since the 2001 Enron Corp.
BUSINESS
By MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE | May 3, 2005
MINNEAPOLIS - These are good times for stockholders of long-distance firm MCI Inc., the beneficiaries of a high-stakes bidding war. MCI accepted yesterday a sweetened $8.4 billion bid from Verizon Communications Inc. over a rival $9.75 billion offer from Qwest. But that won't help another, forgotten class of shareholders - those who lost everything when MCI, formerly known as WorldCom, filed for the nation's largest bankruptcy in July 2002, because of an accounting fraud scandal. By the time WorldCom emerged from bankruptcy as MCI in April 2004, its original common stock was worth nothing and thousands of stockholders had watched their money vanish.
BUSINESS
By BLOOMBERG NEWS | March 17, 2005
NEW YORK - WorldCom Inc. documents showing the company's declining finances and the testimony of former chief executive Bernard J. Ebbers that he saw them are what sealed his conviction, not star witness Scott D. Sullivan, a juror said yesterday. Zina Gregory, 40, who was juror No. 8 at Ebbers' fraud trial, said Sullivan, WorldCom's former finance chief, "had his own agenda," so she avoided putting too much stock in his account of financial wrongdoing at the long-distance company. "I didn't care for him," Gregory said.
BUSINESS
By Susan Harrigan and Susan Harrigan,NEWSDAY | March 17, 2005
NEW YORK - JPMorgan Chase & Co. agreed yesterday to pay $2 billion to end a class action lawsuit by investors who lost money when telecommunications giant WorldCom went bankrupt in 2002. The bank's action came the day after a jury found former WorldCom Chief Executive Officer Bernard J. Ebbers guilty of fraud in the world's largest accounting scandal. JPMorgan, the nation's second-largest bank, was a major underwriter of WorldCom bonds. "Given recent developments, we made a decision to settle rather than risking the uncertainty of a trial," William B. Harrison Jr., chairman and chief executive of JPMorgan, said yesterday in a statement.
BUSINESS
By Jay Hancock | March 16, 2005
HURRAY. The next CEO who wants to cook the books and play dumb will stop, ponder and see the fringed mug of WorldCom's Bernard Ebbers getting redder and redder with yesterday's cascading "guilty" verdicts. If it holds up, Ebbers' criminal conviction on all counts against him does more than Sarbanes-Oxley, Eliot Spitzer and William H. Donaldson combined to keep corporate America honest. The idea that corporate chieftains can delegate all financial responsibility and disclaim knowledge of even massive accounting problems just got less plausible, which can't encourage Enron's Ken Lay, HealthSouth's Richard Scrushy and other former chief executives facing trial.
BUSINESS
By BLOOMBERG NEWS | January 20, 2005
NEW YORK - Former World-Com Inc. chief executive Bernard J. Ebbers, accused of accounting fraud, aims to show jurors that some of the transactions in question didn't amount to a crime, his lawyers said. "We can represent with a virtual certainty that we would be defending the propriety of some of the accounting in this case," said Brian M. Heberlig, one of Ebbers' lawyers, at a final pretrial hearing yesterday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. Prosecutors say that one method used by WorldCom to inflate earnings was by making adjustments to the way it accounted for revenue.
BUSINESS
By BLOOMBERG NEWS | February 17, 2005
NEW YORK - Former WorldCom Inc. finance chief Scott D. Sullivan told jurors yesterday that he lied to company officers, directors and accountants about fraudulent practices in his department even after chief executive Bernard J. Ebbers resigned. Defense lawyer Reid Weingarten went on the offensive in his cross-examination of Sullivan, attacking the credibility of the government's star witness at Ebbers' criminal trial. Sullivan testified earlier about phony accounting maneuvers that drove the company into bankruptcy, claiming they were done under pressure from Ebbers to prop up WorldCom stock.
NEWS
March 16, 2005
BERNARD J. EBBERS was a late bloomer, a charming guy who knocked around for years as a milkman, warehouse manager and basketball coach before making a vast fortune by building WorldCom Inc., the international telecommunications giant, in just a decade - until its 2002 crash in the single largest bankruptcy and fraud case in U.S. history. Yesterday, a New York federal jury found the 63-year-old Ebbers guilty of fraud and conspiracy in connection with $11 billion worth of accounting lies - a needed reminder at a time when corporate America has been pushing back against the accountability reforms put in place in the wake of the collapse of WorldCom, Enron and other corporate mega-frauds.
NEWS
By Laura Smitherman and Laura Smitherman,SUN STAFF | March 16, 2005
When President Bush signed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act into law in July 2002, the problems at WorldCom Inc. were fresh on everyone's mind because the telecommunications giant had sought bankruptcy protection just nine days earlier. Nearly three years later, WorldCom's former chief executive has been found guilty of fraud and could face a maximum prison term of 85 years, potentially one of the stiffest sentences yet in a parade of white-collar criminals. But many businesses remain disgruntled about the government's remedy to corporate corruption.
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