First WorldCom Accountants Sentenced

Two of the lowest ranking officials participating in the conspiracy responsible for the $11 billion fraud that brought down WorldCom were sentenced on Friday, August 5. Three more former WorldCom executives, accounting director Buford Yates, controller David Myers and chief financial officer Scott Sullivan, will be sentenced this week.

Betty Vinson, a former mid-level accounting manager at WorldCom, was sentenced to five months in prison to be followed by five months of house arrest. Vinson testified for the government in the trial of Bernard Ebbers, WorldCom’s former Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

“Had Ms. Vinson refused to do what she was asked, it’s possible this conspiracy might have been nipped in the bud,” U.S. District Judge Barbara Jones said in handing down the sentence, the Associated Press reports.

Judge Jones ordered Vinson to begin serving her sentence on November 7, according to Reuters. Although federal probation officials will make the final determination regarding where Vinson will serve her time, Reuters reports her lawyer requested she be sent to a prison near Jackson, Mississippi so she could be close to family and friends.

In a separate proceeding in Judge Jones court, Troy Normand, another former WorldCom accounting official, was sentenced to three years probation. Prosecutor David Anders asked for leniency, telling the court that Normand’s role was simply to see that WorldCom’s books had been changed and required no independent thought, according to the Associated Press. Normand also testified against Ebbers. The Associated Press reports Normand apologized to the thousands of WorldCom employees who lost jobs and investors who lost money in the collapse before he was sentenced.

You may like these other stories...

IRS audits less than 1 percent of big partnershipsAccording to an April 17 report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the IRS audits fewer than 1 percent of large business partnerships, Stephen Ohlemacher of the...
Legislation coming out of Washington just might reduce homeowners' burden for disaster insurance. It's a topic very much on everyone's minds since the mudslide in Oso, Washington. The loss of human life was...
Divorce is hard, and the IRS isn't going to make it any easier. The IRS generally says "no" to tax deductions that might ease the pain of divorce. In certain circumstances, however, you might be able to salvage...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Apr 22
Is everyone at your organization meeting your client service expectations? Let client service expert, Kristen Rampe, CPA help you establish a reputation of top-tier service in every facet of your firm during this one hour webinar.
Apr 24
In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA introduces you to a powerful but underutilized macro feature in Excel.
Apr 25
This material focuses on the principles of accounting for non-profit organizations' revenues. It will include discussions of revenue recognition for cash and non-cash contributions as well as other revenues commonly received by non-profit organizations.
Apr 30
During the second session of a four-part series on Individual Leadership, the focus will be on time management- a critical success factor for effective leadership. Each person has 24 hours of time to spend each day; the key is making wise investments and knowing what investments yield the greatest return.