Former WorldCom CEO pleads innocent to Oklahoma charges

Wednesday, September 3rd 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Oklahoma City-AP) -- Former WorldCom chief executive Bernie Ebbers pleaded innocent Wednesday to charges of violating Oklahoma securities laws.

Ebbers was released on $50,000 bail and a pretrial conference is set for October 30th. He was fingerprinted and photographed for mug shots before the hearing.

Ebbers' attorney says Ebbers has committed no crime and that he's confident he'll be found innocent.

Assistant Attorney General Debbie Paz says she disagrees, but declined to discuss the state's evidence.

Ebbers headed WorldCom when the telephone company collapsed last year during an $11-billion accounting scandal. The company is now in bankruptcy and known as MCI.

Ebbers, five other former company executives and the company are each charged with 15 felony counts of defrauding Oklahoma investors.

Each count carries up to a $10,000 fine and a ten-year prison sentence.