Oklahoma City (Sept. 18, 2003) -- The former chief financial officer of MCI, Scott Sullivan, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to state criminal charges relating to the company's $11 billion accounting scandal.

Last month, Oklahoma filed a criminal complaint against top former MCI executives and the company itself that included charges of violating state securities laws by defrauding investors, lying about company finances and running a business as a fraud.

MCI's WorldCom Inc. filed the largest bankruptcy in history last year amid an accounting scandal that has grown to more than $11 billion. Oklahoma estimated the fraud cost state pension funds $64 million.

While Sullivan and the other top executives are already facing criminal charges in a federal trial in New York, Oklahoma brought the first criminal charges against former CEO Bernard Ebbers. Earlier this month, Ebbers entered a plea of not guilty to the Oklahoma charges.

The company said that it does not believe the Oklahoma charges will affect its planned emergence from bankruptcy later this year. The company was known as WorldCom under the tenure of Ebbers, Sullivan and the other former executives.

-- WebCPA staff

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