In Dicta

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Ebbers verdict

So-called "white collar crime" is as serious and harms almost as much as anyh other type of crime. Although I don't know the details of the Bernie Ebbers case, this much is true: he inflated Worldcom's earnings by 11 billion Dollars, fleecing thousands of investors.

"Weeping in court as he learned his fate, former WorldCom boss Bernard Ebbers was sentenced to 25 years in prison Wednesday for leading the largest corporate fraud in U.S. history.

It was the toughest sentence imposed on an executive since the fall of Enron in 2001 touched off a record-breaking wave of business scandals.

Even with possible time off for good behavior, Ebbers, 63 and with what his lawyers describe as serious heart problems, would remain locked up until 2027, when he would be 85.

The sentence came four months after Ebbers was convicted of overseeing the $11 billion WorldCom fraud — much of it a pattern of chalking up expenses as long-term capital expenditures, which are classified as assets.

Ebbers, an imposingly tall man with buzzed white hair, leaned forward in his chair and cried, sniffling audibly, after Judge Barbara Jones of U.S. District Court in Manhattan read his penalty.

"I find that a sentence of anything less would not reflect the seriousness of this crime," the judge said."

Via Yahoo! News.

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