Nailed for the biggest bookkeeping deception in history, a fallen telecom giant gives investors one more reason to doubt corporate integrity

Soon after worldcom CEO John Sidgmore revealed the most sweeping bookkeeping deception in history, a marked-up copy of his internal memo on the scandal was e-mailed to folks around the telecom industry. Under his predecessor, Sidgmore announced, WorldCom had overstated a key measure of earnings by more than $3.8 billion over five quarters, dating back to January 2001. The company's reported profits, it turned out, were really losses. In his memo to employees explaining America's latest corporate disgrace, Sidgmore wrote last Wednesday, "Our customers can count on WorldCom to meet their communications needs today and tomorrow." The memo that circulated included...

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