The Securities and Exchange Commission has suspended a former WorldCom finance executive for engaging in “improper” accounting activities.
Mark P. Abide, former WorldCom director of property accounting, was barred from appearing or practicing before the commission as an accountant. However, he can request reinstatement after five years. In its complaint, the regulator alleged, among other things, that from the first quarter of 2001 through the first quarter of 2002, Abide made, and directed others “to make, improper accounting entries” into WorldCom’s depreciable asset accounts in order to conceal “improperly capitalized expenses.”
In addition, Abode is accused of selling 6,728 shares of WorldCom stock—99 percent of his holdings—while the fraud was being carried out, enabling him to avoid losses of nearly $58,000. Abide also was ordered to disgorge $57,947.22, representing the losses he avoided by selling his WorldCom stock, prejudgment interest of $12,912.20, and a civil penalty of $57,947.22.
The SEC pointed out that Abide is the fifth accountant to be suspended from appearing or practicing before the commission in connection with its ongoing investigation into WorldCom’s financial fraud. The others are Buford Yates, David F. Myers, Betty Vinson, and Scott D. Sullivan.