Former WorldCom Accounting Executive Sentenced to Five Months in Jail

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Former WorldCom accounting executive, Betty Vinson was sentenced to five months in prison and five months of house arrest for taking part in the company's $11 billion accounting fraud. Vinson, 49, pleaded guilty to fraud in October 2002 and helped the government build its case against former WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers, who was sentenced last month to 25 years in prison.

At Ebbers' trial, Vinson, the company's former director of management reporting, said she was told to make improper accounting entries because Ebbers did not want to disappoint Wall Street.

"I felt like if I didn't make the entries, I wouldn't be working there," Vinson testified. She said she even drafted a resignation letter in 2000 but stayed with the company.

Vinson is one of five WorldCom executives facing sentencing over the next two weeks for their roles in the fraud, which caused WorldCom to go into bankruptcy in 2002.


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