For Highlights Consideration.
The next episode of CNBC's unprecedented series "American Greed," which focuses on how greed change's people's lives, airs Wednesday, March 5th at 9PM & 12AM ET.
In this episode, CNBC investigates one of the most notorious cases of corporate fraud in American history---WorldCom. When WorldCom's stock crashes in 2002, it leaves in its wake thousands of defrauded investors, out-of-work employees and midlevel executives whose retirement funds disappear overnight. Ultimately, Former CEO Bernard Ebbers and CFO Scott Sullivan are both charged with securities fraud. Sullivan cops a plea deal and receives a five-year prison sentence and Ebbers goes to trial and receives a 25-year sentence.
Also in this episode, CNBC tells the story of Congressman Dana Rohrbacher who is also an aspiring screenwriter. In 2003, Rohrbacher reacquaints himself with Hollywood producer Joseph Medawar who tells him about his newly established production company, Steeple Entertainment, which will be producing a television show called "DHS"--based on the Department of Homeland Security. Rohrbacher expresses interest in Medawar's DHS series and begins introducing him to many influential figures in Washington. What no one realizes is that Medawar uses these connections to present an air of legitimacy to dozens of investors and he fraudulently claims that President Bush endorses the series. Ultimately Medawar rakes in more than $3 million from more than 50 investors to fund his lavish lifestyle. Behind the scenes, it is all a fraud, and when the FBI catches on, Medawar's con game soon comes to a screeching halting, leaving a trail of bankruptcy and distress in his wake.
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