WorldCom Inc.’s former chief financial officer pleaded guilty Monday to one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, the Mississippi attorney general’s office said.
Scott Sullivan faces up to five years in state prison and a fine of $5,000, the attorney general’s office said. No sentencing date has been set.
In March, Sullivan pleaded guilty to federal charges of securities fraud, conspiracy and false statements to regulators, and he agreed to testify against his former boss, CEO Bernard Ebbers. Sullivan faces up to 25 years in federal prison, but is hoping his cooperation will lead to a reduced sentence.
Ebbers is awaiting a November trial on charges of securities fraud, conspiracy and falsifying regulatory filings in the company’s collapse — the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.
State Attorney General Jim Hood said the Mississippi charge stems from Sullivan’s involvement in WorldCom’s misrepresentation of billions of dollars in operating expenses, which let the company inflate its earnings and conceal expenses, leading to an $11 billion accounting fraud. The company filed for bankruptcy in July 2002.
In April, WorldCom Inc. emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy and changed its name to MCI, the long-distance phone business it acquired in 1998. It relocated from Mississippi to Ashburn, Va.