The sentencing of former WorldCom Inc. chief executive Bernard J. Ebbers has reportedly been rescheduled to allow for more time for arguments on his bid for a new trial.

Ebbers, who was found guilty in March on charges of conspiracy, securities fraud and making false filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with the $11 billion accounting fraud at the telecommunications company, was originally scheduled to be sentenced on June 13, but a federal judge has postponed the sentencing to July 13, according to published reports.

Ebbers faces up to 85 years in prison. He will have until June 10 to respond to a motion by the U.S. Attorney's office opposing his request for a new trial, Dow Jones reported. His lawyers also must submit any motions related to his sentencing by that date.

Ebbers asked U.S. District Judge Barbara Jones to grant him a new trial, saying he was denied a fair trial because the court declined to grant immunity to three former WorldCom executives who Ebbers' lawyers said would have exculpated him, according to reports.

WorldCom, which filed for bankruptcy in July 2002, a month after the fraud was uncovered, re-emerged from bankruptcy as MCI.

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