Ex-WorldCom Controller Gets 1 Year; Sullivan Sentenced Thur.
NEW YORK – Former WorldCom controller David Myers (search), who admitted playing a pivotal role in the $11 billion accounting fraud, was sentenced Wednesday to one year and one day in prison.
Myers, 47, was the third-highest-ranking company official to face charges in the record fraud. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy and securities fraud nearly three years ago.
Former WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers (search) has already been sentenced to 25 years in prison, and former finance chief Scott Sullivan (search) is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday.
Myers was a key witness at Ebbers' trial earlier this year, laying out in detail how the fraud was conducted.
While U.S. District Judge Barbara Jones said Myers' criminal conduct was "significant," she said she was rewarding Myers' early acceptance of responsibility in the fraud.
Myers told the judge he would regret his actions for the rest of his life.
"At the single most critical character-defining moment of my life, I failed," he said.
The judge did not impose a fine.
Prosecutor David Anders told the judge Myers' cooperation was "extraordinary," and the Securities and Exchange Commission sent the judge a rare letter praising Myers' cooperation.
On Tuesday, WorldCom's former director of general accounting was sentenced to one year and one day in prison.
The sentence for Buford "Buddy" Yates (search), 49, came nearly three years after he pleaded guilty to helping WorldCom overstate its earnings from 2000 to 2002 in a scandal that bankrupted the telecomtober 2002, telling a judge he was instructed by superiors to make adjustments to company books that had "no justification" and were designed to meet Wall Street expectations.
The extra day in the sentence means Yates will be eligible to have his prison term reduced, although only by a matter of weeks, for good behavior.
Last week, Betty Vinson, a former WorldCom accounting official who said she pulled some numbers "out of the air" when she helped fudge company books, was sentenced to five months in prison.
Another former accounting official, Troy Normand, was sentenced to three years of probation after a federal prosecutor said his role in the fraud was less than Vinson's.
The fraud plunged WorldCom into bankruptcy in 2002. It has since emerged under the name MCI Inc. (MCIP), which is being acquired by Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ).
Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report.