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Scott Sullivan is one of the most infamous CFOs in business history, best known for committing the financial fraud that led to WorldCom's $11 billion financial collapse.
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In 2002, Sullivan's accounting fraud was discovered. He was fired that June, and was soon indicted on several counts of accounting fraud relating to his role in WorldCom's $11 billion financial collapse—the largest scandal of its kind in U.S. history—leading the company to file for bankruptcy in July 2002. Authorities considered Sullivan to be the mastermind behind the WorldCom accounting scheme.
As the date of his trial grew closer, in 2004,
Sullivan pleaded guilty to the charges and agreed to help the prosecution with its case against former WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers. Sullivan testified at Ebbers's trial in 2005. During his court appearance, Sullivan acknowledged that he willingly deceived investors about the company's status. He also claimed that Ebbers had been fully aware of the accounting fraud. Ebbers received a 25-year prison sentence while Sullivan was given a five-year sentence for his crimes.
Sullivan served most of his sentence at the federal prison in Jessup, Georgia. In May 2009, he was released from custody—getting out one year early. Sullivan returned to Boca Raton, Florida, after his time in jail, according to the Palm Beach Post. For the next three years, he remained under what media outlets called a "supervised release." His co-conspirator, Ebbers, remains behind bars, serving his sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Oakland, Louisiana.
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