Episode 217: Kevin Rust – WorldCom, Corporate Fraud

Retired agent Kevin Rust served 29 years with the FBI. He spent most of his career in Mississippi in resident agencies out of the Jackson Division, including 13 years in a one person office. In this episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, Kevin Rust reviews his investigation of WorldCom, at the time, the USA’s second largest long-distance telephone service provider. The company’s senior executives orchestrated a scheme to inflate earnings in order to maintain WorldCom’s stock price. It was a major corporate fraud accounting scandal.

During his Bureau career, Kevin Rust also had assignments in Chicago, Budapest, FBI Headquarters and Quantico. He was a crisis negotiator who responded to many incidents both domestically and internationally and taught negotiation concepts to hundreds of state, local and international officers. Kevin Rust, who prior to entering the FBI was a CPA with Price Waterhouse, currently works as a contractor for the FBI’s International Corruption Unit tracing money flows and identifying for seizure assets purchased with money stolen by foreign kleptocrats. Kevin was previously interviewed in Episode 091 and Episode 117 regarding civil rights matters. Kevin Rush dedicates this episode to the memory of retired agent Jim Davis (see memorial at the end of this post).

Special Agent (Retired)

Kevin Rust

6/9/1985 –  10/31/2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Being an accountant, I said, ‘How did you guys not catch this?’ If they had been doing their jobs, they should have seen this in the first quarter and kept it from going on.”—Retired Agent Kevin Rust

The following are links to articles about the WorldCom corporate accounting scandal:

FBI Website:  White Collar Crime

New York Times – 3/3/2004:  Ex-Chief of WorldCom Surrenders to the FBI

New York Times – 3/15/2005:  Chronology of Events at WorldCom

Washington Post – 2/3/2020:  Bernard Ebbers, WorldCom CEO convicted in historic fraud scandal, dies at 78

Tens of thousands of jobs were lost because of the scandal.

 

 

 

 

 

Bernard Ebbers, WorldCom CEO sentenced to 25 years in prison for historic fraud scandal, dies at 78.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kevin Rush dedicates this episode to the memory of his friend and colleague retired FBI agent Jim Davis. Read his obituary here.

Learn more about Jim Davis’s remarkable FBI and post FBI career. Denver Post – 10/30/20220 – Former Denver FBI agent who helped capture Saddam Hussein dies

In this Dec. 12, 2003 photo provided by the FBI, Jim Davis, right, poses as the booking photographs were being taken of deposed Iraq leader Saddam Hussein in Baghdad, Iraq. (AP Photo/FBI, HO)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, jokes that she writes about the FBI to relive her glory days. After 26 years with the Bureau specializing in major economic fraud and corruption investigations, she calls on her professional encounters with scams and schemers to write police procedurals inspired by true crime FBI cases in her Philadelphia FBI Corruption Squad crime fiction series featuring flawed female FBI agent Kari Wheeler. Jerri’s FBI for Armchair Detectives nonfiction series enables readers to discover who the FBI is and what the FBI does by debunking misconceptions about the FBI in books, TV, and movies. Her books are available as ebooks, paperbacks, and audiobooks wherever books are sold. She’s also the host of FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast with more than 200 episodes available for free subscription on all popular podcast apps.

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