The WorldCom scandal was a major accounting scandal that came to light in the summer of 2002 at WorldCom, the USA's second largest long-distance telephone company at the time.
From 1999 to 2002, senior executives at WorldCom led by founder and CEO Bernard Ebbers orchestrated a scheme to inflate earnings in order to maintain WorldCom's stock price.
The fraud was uncovered in June 2002 when the company's internal audit unit, led by vice president Cynthia Cooper, discovered over $3.8 billion of fraudulent balance sheet entries.
Eventually, WorldCom was forced to admit that it had overstated its assets by over $11 billion.
At the time, it was the largest accounting fraud in American history.
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