WorldCom to submit financial report under oath

US regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission wants the company to come clean over a $3.85bn (£2.51bn) accounting shortfall that could have hidden in excess of $1bn in losses from investors.

The SEC said that people would ‘pay heavily’ if any faults were found in the accounting.

US president George W. Bush last week expressed his anger at boardroom false accounting, which has embroiled not only WorldCom but also energy giant Enron and most recently copier group Xerox.

In an open letter to the president on Friday, WorldCom chief executive John Sidgmore, who replaced former head Bert Roberts eight weeks ago, promised to clean up the company.

‘You [Bush] rightly expressed outrage and concern about past accounting irregularities at WorldCom. I want you to know that we, the current management team, are equally surprised and outraged,’ Sidgmore wrote.

In the letter, Sidgmore outlines his plan to clean up WorldCom.

‘Part of restoring trust means being straight about problems as we discover them, and aggressively solving them. This is the only way we will rebuild our company’s credibility. You have our commitment that we will continue to do this,’ the letter concluded.

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