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Former WorldCom CEO Gets 25 Years in the Big House

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Two days ago, former WorldCom Chief Executive Officer Bernard Ebbers was denied a request for a new trial. Yesterday, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Ebbers was convicted in March on charges of securities fraud and other similar charges in relation to a giant accounting fraud scandal that took place within WorldCom, which led to its bankruptcy back in 2002.

Ebbers requested a new trial, claiming that that three witnesses should have been granted immunity, which could have helped his case. The judge didn’t agree with Ebbers’ reason.

“I find that none of these new grounds requires a new trial,” wrote Judge Barbara Jones in a ruling. “Defendant fails to show that the government has used immunity to gain a tactical advantage over him, or that the testimony of Beaumont, Lomenzo or Scott would be exculpatory” Erin McClam of AP writes,

It was the toughest sentence imposed on an executive since the fall of Enron in 2001 touched off a record-breaking wave of business scandals.

Even with possible time off for good behavior, Ebbers, 63 and with what his lawyers describe as serious heart problems, would remain locked up until 2027, when he would be 85.

“The enormity of the crimes that Ebbers committed cannot be overstated: The fraud at WorldCom was the largest securities fraud in history,” said the prosecutors.

Ebbers may have been the first to be sentenced, but he is not the only one going down for this case. Five other former executives who pleaded guilty have sentencing coming before the end of the summer.

Chris is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.

Former WorldCom CEO Gets 25 Years in the Big House
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