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Ebbers Is Appealing

The Bernie Ebbers defense team, which was led by Reid Weingarten, was unable to convince the jury that Ebbers was unaware of the $11 billion fraud that eventually sank the telecom giant, WorldCom, which has since resurfaced as MCI (Nasdaq: WCOEQ, MCWEQ). (See Ebbers: Of Motels & Men.)

Ebbers, the former WorldCom CEO, was found guilty of securities fraud, conspiracy, and seven counts of false filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) (see Ebbers: GUILTY!).

Weingarten and his team will appeal the verdict, and a key part of that appeal could be the confusion surrounding the supplemental charges, which emerged during the jury’s deliberations last week.

The supplemental charges detailed the broader impact of the fraud. Last week, jurors sent a note to Judge Barbara Jones asking whether they had to agree with these charges in order to find Ebbers guilty.

Jones instructed the jury not to take the supplemental charges into consideration, reportedly saying they should not have been included in the indictment.

Reports now suggest that Ebbers’s appeal will also focus on a number of former WorldCom execs who did not give evidence. The defense was unable to call on the witnesses during the trial when the Government refused to grant them immunity, according to several news reports.

Speaking outside the court yesterday, Weingarten also complained that the case took place in New York, instead of Mississippi, WorldCom’s home state. “The case should have been heard in Mississippi,” he said. “A lot of the important witnesses are in Mississippi.”

Lacking any clear "smoking gun" implicating Ebbers in the fraud, jurors opted to believe the circumstantial evidence against the former basketball coach and bouncer, as well as damning testimony from a number of his one-time minions.

These included the prosecution’s star witness, former WorldCom CFO Scott Sullivan, and the company’s one-time controller, David Myers, who both testified against their former boss (see Ebbers Trial: Sex, Drugs & Numbers).

Here is a breakdown of the nine counts against Ebbers:

  • 1: Conspiracy

  • 2: Securities Fraud

  • 3: False filing with the SEC on Form 10-Q for WorldCom Inc., for the third quarter of 2000

  • 4: False filing with the SEC on Form 10-K for WorldCom, for the year ending December 31, 2000

  • 5: False filing with the SEC on Form 10-Q for WorldCom, for the first quarter of 2001

  • 6: False filing with the SEC on Form 10-Q for WorldCom, for the second quarter of 2001

  • 7: False filing with the SEC on Form 10-Q for WorldCom, for the third quarter of 2001

  • 8: False filing with the SEC on form 10-K for WorldCom, for the year ending December 31, 2001

  • 9: False filing with the SEC on Form 10-Q for WorldCom, for the first quarter of 2002
Sentencing has been set for June 13th at 4 p.m.

— James Rogers, Site Editor, Next-Gen Data Center Forum

Lite Rock 12/5/2012 | 3:23:12 AM
re: Ebbers Is Appealing Burn Baby Burn, Burn that mutha down.

ex-cisco guy 12/5/2012 | 3:23:11 AM
re: Ebbers Is Appealing You know. I really doubt he will serve even half of the 85 years. ;-)

63 + (85 * 1/2) = 105.5 years old when he gets out.
dljvjbsl 12/5/2012 | 3:23:10 AM
re: Ebbers Is Appealing
Ebbers is Appealing. This title reminds me of the story about King Henry II on his death bed. Even though he wasn't quite dead, the civil war among his sons had already started. One of his courtiers went to the king's bedside and said to him 'Your sons are revolting.' To which he replied 'No, they are not.'

So when someone says 'Ebbers is appealing' one has to wonder about their taste.
Lite Rock 12/5/2012 | 3:23:07 AM
re: Ebbers Is Appealing Very good point. So Very Sad :-(

There is either a made for TV movie or a Sitcom in here somewhere.

"Ebbers is appalling" or "Silence of the Hams" or "De Nile is a River in Egypt" or "Humble is a Town In Texas".

Tyrone Shoelace
captain kennedy 12/5/2012 | 3:23:04 AM
re: Ebbers Is Appealing i can't wait to read the story titled "Ebbers is squealing"
startup_shutup 12/5/2012 | 3:23:03 AM
re: Ebbers Is Appealing >> 63 + (85 * 1/2) = 105.5 years old when he gets out.

In that case I wish Bernard Ebbers a very long life!
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