Cynthia Cooper: Journey of a Whistleblower

3922 Words16 Pages
Beginning of a Whistleblower Bernie Ebbers, Scott Sullivan, and other members of top management intentionally led Mississippi’s pride and joy, WorldCom, on a 5-quarter charade filled with smoke, mirrors, and much intimidation. They did it hotly pursuing success, monetary gain, and the praise of their fellow statesmen. They did it by abusing work relationships and intimidating employees with promises and threats. Ultimately, they ended up “losing their footing” which caused them and, in turn, others to slip down the proverbial “ethical slippery slope” and on the path to committing fraud. Cynthia Cooper, the Vice President of Internal Audit, was among the people who were pushed to compromise. When pushed, however, her instinct and…show more content…
The usual result of cookie jar accounting is a "smoothing" of net income over the course of several years. The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) does not permit cookie jar accounting by public companies because it can mislead investors regarding a company 's financial performance. Third, WorldCom reduced reported line costs by releasing accruals that had been established for other purposes. This reduction of line costs was inappropriate because such accruals, to the extent determined to be in excess of requirements, should have been released against the relevant expense when such excess arose, not re-characterized as a reduction of line costs. These line cost expenses, David Myers, Scott Sullivan, and the other accountants manipulated numbers knowing they were manipulating numbers to give the appearance that WorldCom was continuing to meet its earnings guidance set by executives, to keep the stock prices steadily rising, and to keep the telecom analysts’ opinions high. The rationale of Myers and his cohorts, that Cooper gives insight to in this decision-making process, is initially loyalty to one’s boss. Dave Myers had loyalty to Scott Sullivan and Buddy Yates to Dave Myers. Next, Cooper describes the mid-level accountants, Betty Vinson and Troy Normand, in terms of their economic status. They are both their families’

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