Pious Scammer Bernie Ebers (Part 1)

Eleven billion dollars is the damage that Ebers Bernhard, head of WorldCom, a telecommunications corporation, brought to his investors. Ebbers himself admitted that he failed to have learnt the tricks of accounting.

By 1981, Bernard Ebbers, a physical education teacher, together with two friends, had become a co-owner of 9 motels — hopeless and impoverished. At that point the company could have ended its existence, but by fate with the latest “acquisition” businessmen got the right to lease one of the Mississippi telephone lines.

bernie Ebbers 1.1

While there was an active de-monopolization of communication in the United States, anyone could rent communication channel for transmitting calls. Bernie fell in love with the idea of reselling the channel bandwidth.

According to the legend, he came up with the concept of his first telephone company chatting with three friends and a waitress serving them in a coffee shop in Gettysburg. They immediately sketched a plan on a napkin according to which their firm would buy intercity communication lines from the Southern Central Bell at wholesale, and then resell them to local enterprises.

bernie Ebbers 1.2

Soon, a PE teacher, a disc jockey and a pizza boy became the founders of “Long Distance Discount Service (LDDS)”. The most surprising and paradoxical is that none of them knew anything about communications technology. Ebbers himself never used e-mail and rarely worked on the computer.

At first, Bernie was just one of the owners of LDDS, but two years later the partners persuaded him to take the helm of the company. Since Ebbers did not know the basics of company management, his key method was to acquire “bandwidth”. For 15 years he was able to have bought 75 companies. Moving at such a pace in 1994, LDDS was supplemented by “Wiltel” – the fourth largest owner and operator of fiber-optic communication. It wais then when the company was called “WorldCom”. Three years later “WorldCom” bought for $ 40 billion MCI, a giant company, which was three times bigger.

Read the Part 2