Day of Reckoning for Ebbers, Fastow

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Former WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers is scheduled to report to federal prison in Mississippi, more than a year after he was sentenced to 25 years for his role in an accounting fraud scandal. And Enron's former finance chief, Andrew Fastow, will be sentenced in Houston.


The business news starts with a day of reckoning for two former executives.

(Soundbite of music)

INSKEEP: Enron's former finance chief will be sentenced today. Andrew Fastow faces punishment for his role in the accounting fraud that led to the company's collapse.

And in Mississippi, former WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers is scheduled to report to federal prison. NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

JIM ZARROLI: Ebbers was convicted of fraud and conspiracy a year and a half ago, but his sentence was put on hold while his case was appealed. His lawyers argued among other things that the 25-year sentence he received was too long, but the three-judge panel that heard the appeal upheld his conviction and sentencing, and he'll now head to the minimum-security federal prison in Yazoo City, Mississippi.

Chris Bebel is a former federal prosecutor who has followed the case.

Mr. CHRIS BEBEL (Former Federal Prosecutor): Mr. Ebbers will undoubtedly serve much of his time in a federal detention camp, a minimal security setting that will make this long sentence more bearable.

ZARROLI: Ebbers was convicted of overseeing a plan to conceal WorldCom's deteriorating financial condition from investors.

Just as Ebbers is reporting to prison, former Enron CFO Andrew Fastow will appear in a Houston courtroom to be sentenced for his role in the company's accounting scandal. Fastow agreed to testify against his company's former CEO. Ken Lay was convicted last May of fraud, and died in July.

Jim Zarroli, NPR News, in New York.

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