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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 February, 2005, 20:07 GMT
Worldcom director ends evidence
Scott Sullivan
Scott Sullivan has pleaded guilty to fraud
The former chief financial officer at US telecoms firm WorldCom has finished giving evidence at the trial of his ex-boss Bernie Ebbers.

Scott Sullivan admitted to jurors he was willing to commit fraud to meet Wall Street earnings projections.

Mr Ebbers is on trial for fraud and conspiracy in relation to WorldCom's collapse in 2002. He pleads not guilty.

Mr Sullivan has spent two days being cross-examined by lawyers for former Worldcom chief executive Mr Ebbers.

'Short term'

Attorney Reid Weingarten has attempted to portray Mr Sullivan as a liar and on Thursday quizzed him about his decision to commit fraud to meet analysts' profit estimates.

"At that point in time," Mr Sullivan said, referring to the first false entries in late 2000, "I knew it was wrong and I knew it was against the law, but I thought we would get through it in the short term."

Mr Sullivan, 42, has already pleaded guilty to fraud and will be sentenced following Mr Ebbers' trial, where he is appearing as a prosecution witness.

Mr Ebbers, 63, has always insisted that he was unaware of any hidden shortfalls in WorldCom's finances.

The former finance officer said Mr Ebbers knew about the improper accounting entries that were made between 2000 and 2002 to conceal soaring expenses and inflate revenue.

Buyout deal

Mr Ebbers could face a sentence of 85 years if convicted of all the charges he is facing.

WorldCom's problems appear to have begun with the collapse of the dotcom boom which cut its business from internet companies.

Prosecutors allege that the company's top executives responded by orchestrating massive fraud over a two-year period.

WorldCom emerged from bankruptcy protection in 2004, and is now known as MCI.

On Monday, MCI agreed to a buyout by Verizon Communications in a deal valued at $6.75bn.

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