Scott Sullivan, the former finance chief of WorldCom and star witness for the prosecution in the ongoing fraud trial of former WorldCom CEO Bernie Ebbers, said in cross-examination that his desire to hit earnings targets superceded following the law. "I knew it was wrong and I knew it was against the law," Sullivan said under cross-examination by defense attorney Reid Weingarten. "But I thought we would make it through. I went along with hitting the earnings-per-share number." This week, Sullivan has been under fire from Weingarten, attorney for the 63-year-old Ebbers, who is on trial at U.S. District Court here for securities fraud, conspiracy and filing false documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The resulting $11 billion accounting fraud at the telecommunications company resulted in the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history. Sullivan had previously plead guilty to fraud and agreed to testify against Ebbers in return for a lighter sentence than the potential 25-year prison term he could face. He will be sentenced following Ebbers' trial. If convicted on all counts, Ebbers could be sentenced to as much as 85 years in prison. Sullivan has repeatedly testified that he was alone with his former chief executive when he was told to "hit the numbers." Over several days of grueling questioning, Weingarten has tried to portray Sullivan and not Ebbers as the mastermind behind the accounting fraud at WorldCom because of his accounting expertise. Earlier in the week, Weingarten hacked away at Sullivan's credibility by raising such issues as drug use, and showing the jury videotapes of meetings with Wall Street analysts where Sullivan deliberately masked the true financial picture of the company.
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