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Ebbers jailed for 25 years

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Bernie Ebbers has been sentenced to 25 years behind bars for his part in the $11bn (£5.8bn) fraud at US telco WorldCom, accordng to AP.

The sentence was handed down today by Judge Barbara Jones in New York.

Prosecutors had pressed for Ebbers, 63, to be jailed for life for orchestrating what they called "the largest securities fraud in history" back in 2002.

Ebbers' defence asked the judge to be lenient and to take into account Ebbers' heart condition and his past charitable works.

Ebbers was found guilty of masterminding the fraud in March. Following eight days of deliberation, a Manhattan federal jury returned guilty verdicts on charges of conspiracy, securities fraud, and seven counts of filing false reports.

Commenting on the case last month prosecutors said: "The enormity of the crimes that Mr Ebbers committed cannot be overstated: The fraud at...WorldCom was the largest securities fraud in history.

"Along with Enron, the name WorldCom has become synonymous with fraud." ®

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