The former chief financial officer of Worldcom has escaped with a five-year prison sentence after co-operating with the police.
Scott Sullivan avoided the 25-year sentence given to Worldcom's former chief executive, Bernie Ebbers, by naming names in the investigation into false accounting at WorldCom which led to the company's collapse.
When Worldcom went bankrupt 200,000 people lost their jobs and the cost to shareholders was about $18bn.
Sullivan pleaded guilty to conspiracy, securities fraud and making false financial filings. "Mr Sullivan was the architect of the fraud at WorldCom," US District Judge Barbara Jones said in her summing up in the US District Court in Manhattan.
Before his sentence was given Sullivan apologised for his "cowardly" actions in overstating profits.
Judge Jones also sentenced four other WorldCom executives to one year in jail as they had also co-operated with prosecutors and pleaded guilty.
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