Saturday, June 11, 2005

Ebbers Seeks Leniency in Sentencing

Former WorldCom CEO Bernie Ebbers submitted a brief to U.S. District Judge Barbara Jones seeking leniency in sentencing so that the court does not sentence the 63-year old to what would be a life term.  Among the reasons for seeking a shorter sentence cited by the defense are Ebbers' devotion to his family, history of extensive charitable giving, declining health, and personal financial losses suffered when WorldCom collapsed.  While stating he was "profoundly sorry" for the fraud and job losses it caused, Ebbers did not accept responsibility for WorldCom's demise due to the accounting misstatements.  The latter position will not help his cause, although he did submit 169 letters of support on his behalf that may be persuasive with the judge.  Ebbers poses no continuing threat to society, and the testimonials (and health issues) can create a sympathetic scenario.  It's not clear whether any sentence given to former CFO Scott Sullivan will influence Judge Jones' determination for Ebbers. My hunch is that, given the advisory nature of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the sentence will be in the 8-10 year range (I would use 100 months as the over/under line). Sentencing is set for July 13.  See a CNN story here about the defense submissions, and thanks to Doug Berman's always comprehensive Sentencing Law & Policy (here) for noting the defense submission. (ph)

Sentencing, WorldCom | Permalink

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