Courtesy of Pam Martens.
When WorldCom filed for bankruptcy in July 2002 as a result of a massive accounting fraud, it led to over 12,000 WorldCom employees losing their jobs, their 401(k)s, their medical insurance, and much of the severance they were owed. Some of the employees set up a fund to help each other save their homes or pay critical bills. Even members of Congress were sympathetic to the plight of the workers and contributed to the fund the tens of thousands of dollars that WorldCom had given in political donations.
But billionaire Scrooge, Sanford (Sandy) Weill, who was Chairman and CEO of Citigroup – the firm that was charged with aiding and abetting the fraud and paid a total of $3.05 billion to settle with regulators and defrauded shareholders, has quietly raked in $2,048,226 between 2006 and 2010 from a fund meant for victims of the fraud. Given the role that Weill’s firm played in the fraud, that’s akin to the driver of the getaway car approaching the bank manager after the holdup and asking if he can get his parking comped.
Because the WorldCom settlement fund had $6 billion to disperse and $46.5 billion in claims, every dollar Weill took from the fund meant some actual needy person did without.
According to the tax returns filed by Weill’s Family Foundation, which is a conduit for Weill to give away money, get a tax deduction, and see his and his wife’s names chiseled on buildings from coast to coast, the nonprofit received the following sums from the WorldCom Settlement Fund: $1,560,122 in 2006; $361,080 in 2008; and $127,024 in 2010.
The extent of the WorldCom fraud began to emerge on June 25, 2002, when the company announced it was restating its financial statements for 2001 and the first quarter of 2002. The company said it had improperly capitalized expenses of $3 billion in 2001 and $797 million in the first quarter of 2002. The restatement meant that instead of profits for those periods, WorldCom had staggering losses. The company filed for bankruptcy within the month.