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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Bernie Ebbers Conviction

I believe that the jury verdict convicting Bernie Ebbers on all counts was absolutely correct. I sat through much of the court proceedings and saw the testimony of Scott Sullivan and Bernie Ebbers. The jury believes Scott Sullivan and did not believe Bernie Ebbers. Ebbers defense that he did not know what was going on in his own company - even though he had a billion dollars worth of WorldCom stock and built the company - simply did not fly with the common sense of the jurors. There was ample evidence particularly a voice mail left by Scott Sullivan for Bernie Ebbers where Sullivan talked about "accounting flub" and "junk" on the balance sheets.

The Ebbers verdict sends a message to corporate America and Wall Street that stock fraud and lying to investors is a criminal offense which will be severely punished. Ken Lay, Jeff Skilling and other CEO's who think they can take the "I don't know" defense are sorely mistaken. I believe that those executives will also be convicted.


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