Bernard Ebbers gets 25 years for WorldCom Fraud
Former WorldCom founder and CEO Bernard Ebbers was today sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for the famous accounting fraud, which led to the downfall of the WorldCom. He was already declared found guilty in March this year for his involvement in declaration of inflated telecom’s finances to cover massive losses that led to an $11 billion accounting fraud. The judgment was passed by the Judge Barbara S. Jones who said that her decision took into consideration the seriousness of the charges and the effect the massive fraud had on many.
Jones said in the ruling: “I find that a sentence of anything less would not reflect the seriousness of this crime.â€ the charges against Bernard included conspiracy, securities fraud and seven counts of lying to the Securities and Exchange Commission. He was facing much worse punishment in the form of 85 years in prison. However, he somewhat got a bargain due to his numerous charitable works and poor health.
One of his worst decisions was to instruct the former CFO Scott Sullivan to adjust the company’s accounting numbers over a two-year period to keep the markets happy. This seems to be just the beginning of the decisions pertaining in the case as several other former company employees including Scott Sullivan are scheduled to get their sentences later this year.