Ex-WorldCom CEO Ebbers wants sentence commuted

By Brad Reed, Network World |  Legal, accounting fraud, Bernie Ebbers

Imprisoned former WorldCom chief Bernie Ebbers is hoping that President Bush will give him the gift of clemency this holiday season.

Ebbers, the ex-WorldCom CEO who is serving a 25-year prison sentence after being convicted on charges of fraud and conspiracy, has filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Justice asking for clemency. The Justice Department has told  Reuters that it has received the petition and that it is currently under review.

Ebbers was convicted in 2005 of orchestrating US$11 billion in accounting fraud that was designed to falsely inflate WorldCom's revenue and share price. After his conviction, Ebbers unsuccessfully appealed to a U.S. Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court  in an effort to get his conviction overturned.

Since September 2006, he has been imprisoned at the Oakdale Federal Correctional Institution, an institution most famous for housing former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards, a four-term Democrat who was sentenced to 10 years in prison on racketeering charges in 2001. 

During his heyday at WorldCom in 1999, Ebbers was named one of Network World's 25 most powerful people in networking.

President Bush has granted 14 pardons and has commuted two sentences over the past month. In addition to Ebbers, former media mogul Conrad Black and financier Michael Milken have asked Bush to commute their sentences.

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