The prosecution in the trial of Bernard Ebbers is recommending life in prison for the former WorldCom chief executive. Ebbers was convicted of securities fraud, resulting in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of WorldCom, and a loss of over $2.2 billion to investors. "The fraud at WorldCom was the largest securities fraud in history. Along with Enron, the name WorldCom has become synonymous with fraud," the government said in published reports. Although the government compared Ebbers to high-profile executives who have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms, including Adelphia Communications Corp. founder and former chief executive John Rigas, observers say that the recent acquittals of other executives on similar charges -- including Tuesday's acquittal of former HealthSouth chief Richard Scrushy -- argue against such a severe sentence.
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