Bernie Ebbers' wife files for divorce

Oklahoman Published: April 23, 2008
MADISON, Miss. -- The wife of convicted ex-WorldCom CEO Bernie Ebbers has filed for divorce less than two years after he reported to a federal prison for securities fraud and conspiracy in an $11 billion accounting scandal.

Madison County Chancery Court records show Kristie Ebbers filed for divorce last week. The couple has been married since 1999. His first marriage ended in divorce.

Bernie Ebbers, 66, is in the Oakdale Federal Correctional Institution in central Louisiana, which houses low-security male inmates.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons Web site says his projected release date is July 4, 2028. Ebbers had also faced state charges in Oklahoma, but Attorney General Drew Edmondson dropped them after the federal conviciton.

Ebbers is a former high school basketball coach who took a small telecommunications company and transformed it into WorldCom, an industry giant based in Clinton. WorldCom filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2002.

Ebbers was sentenced to 25 years after being convicted in 2005 of securities fraud and conspiracy. His trial took place in federal court in New York.

Federal prisoners have to serve at least 85 percent of their sentences.

Ebbers drove himself to prison in a Mercedes on Sept. 26, 2006.

Madison County land records show Kristie Ebbers still owns the couple's brick-and-stucco home in an upscale gated community in the Jackson suburb of Ridgeland.

An $11 billion accounting fraud forced the former WorldCom to seek bankruptcy protection. When it emerged, the company changed its name to MCI and moved its headquarters to Virginia. MCI has since been sold to Verizon.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.