Bernie Ebbers, the former boss of US telecom WorldCom, which collapsed
spectacularly in 2002, has lost his appeal against his conviction and 25-year
prison sentence for fraud and conspiracy.
His sentence in relation to the $11bn (£6bn) accounting fraud at the telecom
company followed a guilty verdict being passed by a jury in March 2005.
The appeal decision was made in New York and could now see Ebbers start his
jail term. He has remained on bail pending the appeal.
Judge Ralph Winter of the US Second Circuit Court of Appeals, one of three
judges who rejected the appeal wrote: ‘The methods [Mr Ebbers] used [at
Worldcom] were specifically intended to create a false picture of profitability
even for professional analysts that, in Ebbers’ case, was motivated by his
personal financial circumstances.’
WorldCom’s 2002 collapse was the biggest bankruptcy in US corporate history
with 20,000 workers losing their jobs, and shareholders losing about $180bn
WorldCom emerged from bankruptcy in 2004, renaming itself MCI. It was later
acquired by Verizon Communications
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