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WorldCom Whistle-blower Cynthia Cooper

WorldCom Whistle-blower Cynthia Cooper

by Toby Lucich on February 5, 2008

Think of her as the mother of 404.Not that that’s a goal she ever imagined or one she has embraced. But the odyssey that began when Cynthia Cooper, the then–vice president of internal audit at WorldCom, decided to investigate anomalies in the company’s accounting entries ended by inspiring critical — and heavily criticized — legislation: the U.S. Senate responded to revelations about massive accounting fraud at the telecom giant by adding Section 404, on the assessment of internal controls, to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. For public companies, the rest is history. For executives, Cooper’s experiences challenging then-CEO Bernie Ebbers and then-CFO Scott Sullivan, brought to life in her new book, Extraordinary Circumstances (John Wiley & Sons, February), offer lessons that are as fresh today as when the scandal first broke.

WorldCom Whistle-blower Cynthia Cooper

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