Former WorldCom CEO ordered freed from 25-year prison sentence for medical reasons
Former Chief Executive Officer for WorldCom Bernard Ebbers was granted a reprieve by U.S. District Judge Valerie E. Caproni on Wednesday after she ordered his release from prison for medical reasons.
Ebbers was serving a 25-year jail sentence for his involvement in an $11 billion accounting fraud scheme which eventually ended in bankruptcy. A federal appeals court had previously affirmed the sentence in 2006 after he was convicted on nine counts of conspiracy, securities fraud and other crimes.
Ebbers is currently hospitalized and did not appear in court, according to The Associated Press.
Several of the former executive's family members were in court for the ruling and reportedly sobbed and hugged one another upon hearing the news.
CEO EBBERS GETS 25 YEARS FOR WORLDCOM FRAUD
Ebbers, 78, suffers from a myriad of health problems including severe weight loss, according to The AP. Caproni said it was within her authority to order his early release, despite Ebbers' victims' pleas that he be left to die in prison.
WorldCom went bankrupt in 2002, causing major financial losses to stockholders, including those who'd invested through their retirement plans.
The Associated Press contributed to this report