- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 10, 2005

NEW YORK (AP) — Former WorldCom Controller David Myers, the third-ranking company executive charged in the $11 billion accounting fraud, was sentenced yesterday to one year and one day in prison.

U.S. District Judge Barbara Jones said she was sparing Myers, 47, a longer prison term because of his extraordinary cooperation with the government and his early admission of responsibility and remorse.

As controller, Myers said, he instructed WorldCom’s accounting department to make billions of dollars in adjustments to financial statements so the company could meet Wall Street expectations.

He said he did so on orders from Scott Sullivan, the company’s chief financial officer, who today will become the sixth former WorldCom executive to be sentenced.

Myers, a father of three, told the judge he would regret his conduct for the rest of his life. “At the time I consider to be the single most critical character-defining moment of my life, I failed,” he said.

He went on: “As I teach my children what is right and what is wrong, I’ve got to acknowledge that I did something that was not just wrong, but horribly wrong,” he said.

The extra day tacked onto the year’s prison term makes Myers eligible to have his time reduced for good behavior.

The judge and the lead federal prosecutor on the case both gave Myers credit for coming clean to internal WorldCom auditors, even before he met with law-enforcement officials investigating the fraud in 2002.

Later that year, Myers pleaded guilty to conspiracy, securities fraud and false regulatory filings. He worked with the government extensively as it built a case against former Chief Executive Officer Bernard Ebbers, who was convicted in the fraud earlier this year and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

WorldCom, once one of the nation’s leading telecommunications firms, went bankrupt when the fraud was discovered in 2002. It emerged last year under the name MCI.

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