© D.L. Crumbley
Gene Morse Used Data Mining at WorldCom
The beauty of the new [software] system, from Mr. Morse’s perspective, was that it enabled him to scrutinize the debit and credit side of transactions. By clicking on a number for an expense on a spreadsheet, he could follow it back to the original journal entry – such as an invoice for a purchase or expense report submitted by an employee, to see how it had been justified …. By the first week in June, Mr. Morse had turned up a total of $2 billion in questionable accounting entries.
Mr. Morse grew increasingly concerned that others in the company would discover what he had learned and try to destroy the evidence, he says. With his own money he went out and bought a CD burner and copied all the incriminating data onto a CD-ROM. He told no one outside of internal audit what he had found.
Source: Pulliam Susan, Deborah Solomon, “Uncooking the Books – How Three Unlikely Sleuths Discovered Fraud at WorldCom,” Wall Street Journal, 30 October 2002.