Ebbers sentenced to 25 years for WorldCom fraud

Former WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers was sentenced to 25 years in prison for his role in the company's historic accounting fraud and subsequent bankruptcy.

Former WorldCom Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bernard Ebbers was sentenced Wednesday to 25 years in prison, imposing what could be a life sentence on the executive held accountable for WorldCom's historic collapse into bankruptcy in the wake of a US$11 billion accounting scandal.

US District Court Judge Barbara Jones ordered Ebbers, 63, to report to prison in Mississippi by mid-October to begin serving his sentence, according to news reports. Earlier this week, Jones denied Ebbers' request for a new trial, ruling that none of the objections raised by his lawyers was significant enough to warrant retrying the case. Ebbers continues to work on an appeal of his conviction.

A jury convicted Ebbers in March on charges of conspiracy and fraud. Ebbers is the first of several former WorldCom executives to be sentenced. Those awaiting sentencing include former WorldCom Chief Financial Officer Scott Sullivan, who pleaded guilty and cooperated with prosecutors. His testimony helped convince the jury of Ebbers' culpability.

In a separate, civil settlement granted preliminary approval on Monday, a judge stripped Ebbers of most of his assets, including the Mississippi mansion in which his family lives. The one-time paper billionaire would be left with few holdings, as most of his cash and assets will be used for a reimbursement fund to compensate WorldCom shareholders and others affected by the company's fraud

"I think this is a fair sentence. It's unfortunate, but for the type of fraud that was committed, I think the courts need to send a strong warning to the business community that this won't be tolerated," said Norman Berle, a criminal lawyer who also teaches at the Fordham University Graduate School of Business.

Berle's classes include a business ethics course and another on white-collar crime. WorldCom, Enron, and their ilk have been a hot discussion topic. "These are the types of companies that students want to get jobs with," he said. "When they see these companies go under and their CEOs indicted, they pay attention."

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stacy Cowley

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?