Ailing ex-telecom executive Ebbers seeks release from prison


JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – A former telecommunications executive convicted in one of the largest corporate accounting scandals in U.S. history is asking a judge to shorten his prison sentence so he can be released as his health deteriorates.

Bernard Ebbers led WorldCom, based in Mississippi. He was convicted in New York in 2005 on securities fraud and other charges and received a 25-year sentence. He has been imprisoned since 2006.

A federal judge has set a Monday deadline for federal officials to provide an update on Ebbers’ health.

His attorneys say 78-year-old Ebbers has recently lost weight, is legally blind and has several medical problems, including a heart ailment. Court papers say a Bureau of Prisons official in August denied his petition for compassionate release from a federal prison hospital in Texas.

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