Bernie Ebbers, ex-CEO convicted in WorldCom scandal, dies

Former WorldCom chief executive Bernie Ebbers walks out of the courtroom following his arraignment in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2003, where he pleaded not guilty to the first criminal charges brought against him in the long-distance company's $11 billion accounting scandal. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

(AP) – Bernie Ebbers, the convicted former chief of telecoms company WorldCom, has died. He was 78.

According to a family statement, Ebbers died on Sunday just over a month after his early release from prison.

He had been convicted in 2005 for 25 years on securities fraud and other charges for his role in one of the largest corporate accounting scandals in U.S. history.

WorldCom collapsed and went into bankruptcy in 2002 following revelations of an $11 billion accounting fraud.

His early release was ordered in December after a lawyer cited severe medical problems.

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