Ex-WorldCom CEO adds “Prison Etiquette” to Amazon wish list

“When all of the activities at WorldCom are fully aired and when I get the opportunity — and I’m very much looking forward to it — to explain my actions in a setting that will not compromise my ability to defend myself in the legal proceedings arising out of the recent events, I believe that no one will conclude that I engaged in any criminal or fraudulent conduct during my tenure at WorldCom.”

Bernie Ebbers, July 2002

Once head of a $100 billion telecommunications giant, former WorldCom CEO Bernie Ebbers will soon be bumming quarters for phone calls from fellow inmates at the ol’ graybar hotel. This morning a federal jury in New York, on its eighth day of deliberations, convicted Ebbers on all nine counts that he helped mastermind the $11 billion accounting fraud that drove WorldCom into bankruptcy. Clearly, Ebber’s twinkie defense just didn’t wash with the jury (see “In bold variation, defense will argue that Ebbers is a twinkie” “In Texas, they call it ‘all hat and no head“; and “Prosecutor: Former WorldCom CEO’s pants on fire“). “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, N.J., law firm of McCarter & English. “The high-risk gamble of taking the stand simply blew up on him.”


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