Accounting Fraud at WorldCom
LDDS began operations in 1984 offering services to local retail and commercial customers in the southern states. It was initially a loss making enterprise, and thus hired Bernie J. (Bernie) Ebbers to run things. It took him less than a year to make the company profitable. By the end of 1993, LDDS was the fourth largest long distance carrier in the United States. After a shareholder vote in May 1995, the company officially came to be known as WorldCom. WorldCom culture was dominated by a strong chief executive officer (Bernie J. (Bernie) Ebbers), who was given virtually unfettered discretion to commit vast amounts of shareholder resources and determine corporate direction without even the slightest scrutiny or meaningful deliberation or analysis by senior management or the board of directors and legal function was less influential and less welcome than in a healthy corporate environment. Top hierarchy granted compensation and bonus beyond the company guidelines to a select group of individuals based on their loyalty to them. The company’s human resource virtually never objected to such special awards. Inaddition, there was no outlet for employees to express their concerns. The room four improvement and corrective measures was obsolete, the consequence of all these culture irregularities were the factor to the big disaster for the company. According to Ebber, in 1997,”our goal is to be the NO.1 stock on Wall Street.”Revenue growth was a key to increasing the company’s market value. Ebbers was obsessed with revenue growth and insisted on a 42% E/R ratio. He encouraged managers to push for revenue, even if it meant that long term costs would outweigh the short term gains. As business operations declined post the 1st quarter in 2000, CFO Sullivan used accounting tactics to achieve targeted performance, accounting principles require companies to estimate expected payments from line costs and match them with revenues in the income...
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