- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 27, 2002

The former controller for bankrupt WorldCom Inc., charged with improperly concealing billions of dollars in company expenses, tried to silence a colleague who raised concerns about accounting, company e-mail indicates.
David Myers sent a harsh warning to Steven Brabbs, who managed the company's European and Asian accounts, according to e-mail released yesterday by the House Financial Services Committee. The panel is investigating WorldCom.
"Do not have any more meetings with AA for any reason," Mr. Myers wrote to Mr. Brabbs in January, referring to accounting firm Arthur Andersen LLP. "I do not want to hear an excuse just stop. … Don't make me ask you again."
Mr. Brabbs had contacted Andersen about an improper $33 million reduction of expenses in WorldCom's international division in spring 2000.
In an e-mail message to another WorldCom employee, Mr. Myers referred to Mr. Brabbs' dealings with Andersen, saying, "Not that I was looking for another reason to have him executed."
Peggy Peterson, a spokeswoman for the House committee, said that while no action was taken against Mr. Brabbs, the e-mail shows "the opposition and intimidation he ran into from David Myers when he tried to raise accounting issues."
The committee requested the e-mail from WorldCom as part of its investigation.
Mr. Myers and former WorldCom Chief Financial Officer Scott Sullivan were arrested Aug. 1 and released on bail.
Mr. Sullivan is accused of directing Mr. Myers to falsify the company's balance sheet by $3.8 billion. That enabled WorldCom to continue reporting profits when it actually was losing money.
The two could get up to 65 years in prison if convicted of securities fraud, conspiracy and filing false statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission. However, federal sentencing guidelines call for 10 years or less.
WorldCom, which owns MCI, the nation's second-largest long-distance company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy July 21 after disclosing its accounting problems. It was the biggest such filing in U.S. history.
On Aug. 8, WorldCom said it uncovered an additional $3.3 billion in improper accounting, bringing the total to $7.1 billion.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide