Finally, one for the good guys. Corporate chieftain turned broadbandit, WorldCom founder Bernie Ebbers has been found guilty for his complicity in a $11 billion fraud, and was convicted of all counts. He can now be sentenced for upto 85 years in prison. A federal jury in Manhattan deliberated for nearly eight days before passing the “guilty” verdict on all charges including one count of conspiracy, one count of securities fraud and seven counts of false regulatory filings crimes. Sentencing was set for June 13.
A visibly upset Ebbers’ was accompanied by his wife Christie, and other family members who broke into tears. I am not shedding for the crook who cooked the books, with his sidekick Scott Sullivan. I hope he rots in jail, for he has destroyed too many lives, and has left many good people scrambling to find their lives again. If it was not early in the day, I would right now crack open a bottle of bourbon and raise a glass to the US justice system.
AP reminds us that 12 former directors and “some investment banks that underwrote WorldCom securities and auditing firm Arthur Andersen, also face a civil trial brought by angry investors. That trial is set for late March.” Bloomberg News adds: The conviction today signals a complete rejection of his testimony by the jury, and it will leave many questioning the wisdom of sending Ebbers to the stand in the first place,” said Robert Mintz, a former federal prosecutor who is now with the Newark, New Jersey, law firm of McCarter & English. “The high- risk gamble of taking the stand simply blew up on him.”