WorldCom Thief Bernard Ebbers Found Guilty

Bernard Ebbers, the former WorldCom CEO who bilked investors out of billions of dollars, was found guilty on all nine charges by a New York jury. He faces up to 85 years in prison. Given that he’s 63, he won’t need that many.

Ebbers found guilty (CNN/Money)

Bernard Ebbers, the former CEO of WorldCom, was found guilty Tuesday for his role in the mammoth accounting scandal that resulted in the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history. A federal jury in New York, on its eighth day of deliberations, convicted Ebbers on all nine counts that he helped mastermind a $11 billion accounting fraud at WorldCom, now known as MCI. Ebbers, 63, had been charged with one count of conspiracy, one count of securities fraud and seven counts of filing false statements with securities regulators. He faces up to 85 years in prison.


WorldCom first disclosed the accounting irregularities that led to Ebbers’ prosecution and the investor lawsuit in June 2002. The news catapulted the No. 2 long-distance phone giant into the top tier of companies then reeling from accounting scandals, among them Tyco International, Global Crossing, Adelphia Communications and Enron.

I used to drive past the WorldCom/MCI building every day on my way to work. Corporations don’t commit crimes and presumably all but a handful of the thousands who work there are just honest folks trying to earn a living. Still, this was a sorry affair.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.