WorldCom Worries

WorldCom spiraled toward the brink of bankruptcy after the communications giant reported it had disguised almost $4 billion in expenses.

WorldCom said Tuesday that more than $3 billion of expenses in 2001 and almost $8 million in the first quarter of 2002 were wrongly listed on company books as capital expenses, so they were not reflected in its earnings results.

That means the company may have actually lost millions of dollars when it reported profits. MCI-WorldCom has a call center on Perryville Road in Rockford, but mayor Doug Scott says the local economy shouldn't be affected.

The company's disclosure reveals one of the largest in a series of accounting scandals that has shaken faith in corporate America. And Wednesday night, the Securities and Exchange Commission has filed fraud charges against WorldCom.