Ex-WorldCom CFO Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy; Sentencing Delayed

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The former chief financial officer of WorldCom, Scott Sullivan, has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud.

Sullivan entered his plea Monday in Hinds County, Miss., before Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter. Sentencing was delayed, the Associated Press reported. Sullivan faces up to five years in prison and a fine of $5,000, the state attorney general's office said.

Sullivan is accused of taking part in falsely recording billions of dollars in operating costs as capital expenses, which made the company look as if it were making money when it was actually losing money.

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood said Sullivan had waived indictment on the charge.

While Sullivan awaits sentencing, his former boss, WorldCom founder and former CEO Bernard Ebbers, faces a November trial on charges of securities fraud, conspiracy and falsifying regulatory filings.

WorldCom Inc. collapsed in 2002, but emerged from the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history in April. The name was changed to MCI, the long distance phone business it acquired in 1998.

Several former executives have already pleaded guilty to conspiracy and securities fraud in connection with the massive accounting scheme that led to the company's demise.

Investigating WorldCom is the U.S. attorney's office for the Southern District of New York and the attorney general's office in Mississippi. WorldCom was headquartered in Clinton, Miss. until last year.

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