Former WorldCom chief found guilty of all charges
Tuesday, March 15, 2005Bernard Ebbers guilty on all nine counts in an indictment for fraud, conspiracy and false regulatory filings. The verdict was handed down by a New York jury after 8 days of deliberation on the former WorldCom CEO and mastermind behind the accounting scandal that brought down the telcom giant.A federal jury found
AP writer Erin McClam reported that when the verdict was announced, “Ebbers’ face reddened.”
Sentencing is set for the second Tuesday of next week when he could receive 85 years in prison for the conviction.
Ebbers who took the stand in his own defence, said he left the details of the company's accounting to others and that he had no knowledge of shady practices. But Scott Sullivan, the ex-chief financial officer of the company and key prosecution witness, directly linked Ebbers to the fraud. Sullivan agreed to co-operate with prosecutors in the hopes of receiving a lenient sentence for his own involvement in the scandal.
The fall of WordCom sparked a massive class action law suit by investors. The plunge in WorldCom's stock changed the capitalized value of the company in the range of $11 billion as the scandal unravelled. Secuities fraud cases stemming from the suits will probably break new legal ground where the involvement of investment banks and public accounting firms who would normally check company irregularities will be called into legal question.
- Erin McCam - AP. "WorldCom’s Ebbers Convicted of All Counts" — , March 15, 2005
- Krysten Crawford. "Ex-WorldCom CEO Ebbers found guilty on all counts" — , March 15, 2005