Ebbers guilty of WorldCom fraud

Appeal expected

Bernie Ebbers did mastermind the $11bn (£5.8bn) book fiddling that torpedoed US telco WorldCom, a New York jury decided today.

After more than a week of mulling, the jury ruled that Ebbers was behind the scandal that led to the collapse of WorldCom in 2002.

In the end it was Ebbers' word against that of former CFO Scott Sullivan. Sullivan - who had already pleaded guilty to his part in the fraud and was the star prosecution witness - said Ebbers was obsessed with hitting the numbers and drove the fraud.

Ebbers said he had no knowledge of the accounting scandal. The jury believed Sullivan.

Ebbers is due to be sentenced on June 13 and faces up to 85 years in jail. His defence team is already planning an appeal. ®

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