What a long, strange and ultimately sad trip it has been for Bernard J. Ebbers.
From the near mythic story of the founding of LDDS in a Hattiesburg coffee shop to the pinnacle of the telecommunications industry as WorldCom, Bernie Ebbers represented all that was right about the bold and gutsy tech boom of the 1990s, and now, all that appears to have been wrong about it, too – questionable accounting, cozy deals and a loyalty to Wall Street`s expectations rather than those of customers and shareholders.
Now Ebbers finds himself facing federal indictment. At a news conference last Tuesday Attorney General John Ashcroft asserted that Ebbers was instrumental in the planning and execution of what is considered the biggest accounting fraud in American business history.
The former chief of WorldCom must answer charges of securities fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud and participation in filing false records with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Of course, in Mississippi Bernie Ebbers faces a different kind of trial – one that is ongoing and personal. It`s the judgment of the thousands of Mississippians whose belief in Ebbers and in WorldCom helped fuel the dream and downfall of Mississippi`s little company that could.
The future for Bernie Ebbers is uncertain, but innocent or guilty in court, the legacy he will leave is set – it is one of great disappointment and no winners.
BEFORE YOU GO…
… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.
If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.Click for more info