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WorldCon Bankrputcy

Sidd Finch
Thursday, July 11, 2002

Related News:

Makes Enron Look Good

WorldCon(Earnings, Miss.) In the latest news to roil struggling telecommunications giant WorldCon, new CEO John Skidmore admitted that the company will likely face bankruptcy proceedings.  "There are four possible scenarios, three of which would result in filing for bankruptcy," Skidmore said. "The fourth option is to float a couple of billion on my Mastercard."  Skidmore insisted that a bankruptcy filing was little more than a technicality.  "Technically, we are out of money," he said. "But I don't think that should be of concern to anyone other than our financial team and perhaps people who make long distance calls.  We still have enough money to operate the firm for a long time," he said, glancing at his watch. "Woah, is it that late?  I gotta get to the instant teller to make sure we keep that Internet thing going," he said.

Skidmore also indicated that the firm has several ideas for "non-traditional" funding ranging from a potential deal with CCI (Columbia Cartel Imports) to holding the world's largest bake sale.  "We've got some of the greatest baking talent right here at our offices.  And Martha Stewart has offered some wonderful cinnamon-sugar mini muffin recipes," Skidmore claimed.  "Also I'm very excited about an opportunity we have to do a 'Women of WorldCon' spread in Playboy."

WorldCom's financial problems came to light in late April when founder and former CEO Bernard "Burn 'em" Ebbers was ousted from the company following the announcement of an SEC investigation into the company's accounting practices and loans made to Ebbers.  In June, Cynthia Cooper, an accounting employee, spotted a $3.8 billion accounting discrepancy and brought it to the attention of the audit committee.  "I was just cleaning up some of the files in Scott's office (CFO Scott Sullivan) and I found this big box of expense reports.  Most of them were for a ten or twenty thousand marked 'Dinner with Jack' (Grubman).  But there were a few for a billion dollars or more and they were marked 'Creative Accounting Solution Holdings (CASH)' and stamped 'Shred Before Filing'.  I thought this was odd since normally with our auditors from Arthur Andersen we would file and then shred.  But Scott told me not to worry about it and asked me to drive them over to Bernie's house.  That was strange too, since Bernie was the one who had me put them in Scott's office in the first place.   Boy, I hope they get all this sorted out.  I've still got a lot of filing to do and now John wants me to meet with some photographer or something."

Skidmore praised Cooper, saying her actions reinforced his position that more oversight was needed for the auditors.  "Still, it would have been nice if she'd found this a few months earlier.  Like maybe before they called me in.  I could have been home watching the PGA."  Nonetheless, Skidmore remained confident regarding WorldCon's core business.  "Despite all the histrionics," he said, "the company has yet to lose a major customer to a competitor.  They're all busy with their own bankruptcy filings." 

If WorldCon files for bankruptcy, it will be the largest such filing ever.  "At least we make Enron look good," company spokesman Rico Statues said.

Execs Take 5th, 6th, 7th Amendments

Meanwhile, former WorldCom CEO Bernard "Burn 'em" Ebbers and CFO Scott "Sue Me" Sullivan pleaded the fifth amendment in before the House Financial Services Committee.  "I believe that no one will conclude that I engaged in any of the things I did or didn't do," Ebbers said. "We burried this deeper than Jimmy Hoffa's body. If anyone takes the fall on this, it's Skidmore. What a setup!" he said, high-fiving former CFO Sullivan.  Ebbers invoked the 5th Amendment (the right to avoid self-incrimination) as well as the lesser known 6th Amendment (the right to skip out on million dollar loans) and 7th Amendment (the right to promote a book on talk shows within two years).  Said Ebbers, "I love this country.  We don't have anything like this back in Canada.  Heck you can't even deduct your mortgage expense back home."

Ebbers recently also made statements at the Easthaven Baptist Church in Brookhaven he attends.  "As a great man once said, 'I am not a crook,' " Ebbers quoted.  Commented Reverand Doctor Victor Proctor, "We asked him not to pick up the collection plate anymore.  We can understand a couple of IOUs, but when sold my car on eBay, I had to draw the line."

Ebbers later visited other religious institiutions throughout the area including the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Sixth-Day Adventist Church (Closed Sundays), Fifth-Amendment Adventist Church, First Baptist Church Home Loan and Savings, Second Baptist Church (We try harder), Our Lady of Perpetual Motion Church, Saint Jake's Episcopal Church & Barbecue,  Simchatlev Chavurat Authentic Jewish Delicatessen, and Templo La Vid Verdadera Tacquiera.  "I thought it best to keep my options open," Ebbers said.

About the author
Sidd Finch is a telecommunications industry reporter.  He is a supporter of the Lets Buy WCOM website.

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