WorldCom Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

The move comes about a month after WorldCom disclosed it had inflated profits by nearly $4 billion through
deceptive accounting.

WorldCom employs about 5,200 people in Colorado and is the largest private employer in Colorado Springs.

The bankruptcy is the largest in U.S. history, and is the latest
in a spectacular series of corporate collapses.

WorldCom chief executive John Sidgmore tells The
Associated Press his company has negotiated approximately $2 billion in financing while it reorganizes. The company hopes to emerge from bankruptcy in 12 months.

Sidgmore says the bankruptcy should have no effect on the company's customers -- from long-distance users to corporate data users.

The collapse of WorldCom follows costly scandals at other big-name companies, including Adelphia Communications, Global Crossing and Enron. All have filed for bankruptcy as they attempt to pay creditors and reorganize their businesses.