American Greed Episode 12: Inside the WorldCom Scam | DHS: Department of Hollywood Scams

Case File

Case 1: Inside the WorldCom Scam

  • Rags to Riches
  • He came from nothing and went to the top of the financial world. Bernard Ebbers took a small telephone company and turned it into a telecom giant. As the head of WorldCom, Ebbers was worth billions.
  • The Lifestyle
  • The Aquasition, a 132-foot yacht and the largest privately-owned ranch on earth. Bernard Ebbers spared no expense when it came to himself. But the lavish lifestyle put WorldCom investor fortunes in jeopardy.
  • Billion Dollar Fraud
  • The outlook for the telecom business turns stormy. WorldCom stock tumbles. Ebbers is asked to resign. But the company hasn't hit rock bottom yet... an internal auditor makes a discovery that shocks Wall Street and the world!

Case 2: DHS: Department of Hollywood Scams

  • Lights, Camera, Action!
  • The allure of Hollywood. Promises of an action-adventure series based on cases from the Department of Homeland Security. Producer Joseph Medawar's plans for a new TV series to attract attention... and money. But the show is just a scam to bilk millions out of investors.
  • Key Player
  • Dana Rohrabacher. A Congressman and writer with a screenplay. Medawar offers to make his script a movie. A deal is struck. Rohrabacher is also interested in "DHS: The Series" and begins introducing Medawar to many influential figures in Washington, D.C. The con takes on an air of legitimacy.
  • Curtain Call
  • The FBI and IRS catch on to Medawar's scam. The con game is about the end, but not before investors are taken for more than $5.5 million. American Greed profiles the case of a Hollywood dream that turned into a nightmare for investors.

Web Extras

  • Inside the WorldCom Scam Tuesday, 31 Jul 2012 | 1:22 PM ET

    Becoming a partner in a long distance telephone company changed Bernard Ebbers' life and others. Click to learn more.

  • Ebbers on selling his WorldCom stock Monday, 25 Feb 2008 | 12:00 AM ET
    Ebbers on selling his WorldCom stock

    Bernard Ebbersâ?? interview with a local NBC news station in 2002.

  • Glyn Smith Monday, 25 Feb 2008 | 12:00 AM ET
    Glyn Smith

    WorldCom Internal Auditor Glyn Smith's discovery.

  • Department of Hollywood Scams Evidence Files Wednesday, 5 Sep 2012 | 11:11 AM ET
    The Scheme

    The allure of Hollywood can be deceiving. Learn about a show that is just a scam to bilk millions out of investors.

  • Rohrabacher/"Baja" Screenplay Monday, 25 Feb 2008 | 12:00 AM ET

    Hear more about Congressman Dana Rohrabacher's screenplay called Baja.

  • Behind the Scenes/"DHS: The Series" Monday, 25 Feb 2008 | 12:00 AM ET
    Behind the Scenes/

    Watch Medawar and Heruth promote DHS: The Series.

  • Bernard Ebbers Subpoena Monday, 11 Jun 2012 | 9:58 AM ET

    Bernard Ebbers was called to testify before Congress about the WorldCom accounting scandal.

  • FBI Affidavit Thursday, 30 Aug 2012 | 2:31 PM ET

    See how Joseph Medawar spent his investors' money