With Bush on his way out, it’s time for him to decide who can get out of jail free and who’s staying put. Here’s an early look at some familiar names that are possible contenders for freedom.
Bloomberg: Bernard Ebbers, the former WorldCom Inc. chairman imprisoned for accounting fraud, joined the growing ranks of disgraced executives and government officials asking President George W. Bush for clemency before he leaves office.
Ebbers, 67, submitted a request to have his 25-year sentence commuted to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of the Pardon Attorney, spokeswoman Laura Sweeney said in e-mailed statement.
“That petition is under review,” she said today.
The Justice Department is also considering a clemency request from Conrad Black, the former Hollinger International Inc. chairman and British Lord serving a 6 and 1/2-year sentence for fraud and obstruction. Michael Milken, the former junk-bond trader who served two years in prison in the early 1990s for violating securities laws, is seeking a pardon.
Ebbers, a former milkman, built a small Mississippi phone company into the second-largest U.S. long-distance provider. He lost a U.S. Supreme Court bid in March 2007 to overturn his 2005 conviction for leading an $11 billion fraud, one of the largest in U.S. history. Reid Weingarten, a lawyer who has represented Ebbers, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.
The department hasn’t received clemency requests from Jeffrey Skilling or Andrew Fastow, both former executives of Enron Corp. now serving federal prison sentences for fraud, Sweeney said. Former Tyco International Ltd. CEO Dennis Kozlowski, whose conviction for stealing tens of millions of dollars from his company was upheld by New York’s highest court in October, was convicted on state charges and isn’t subject to a federal pardon, she said.
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