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Bernard Ebbers, head of WorldCom, was known as one of the most religious CEO’s in the high-tech sector of American business. Every board meeting began with a prayer. Ebbers served as a deacon in his Mississippi Baptist church, and led a bible study very competently. He was elected to the Mississippi Business Hall of Fame. He engineered the takeover of MCI Communications and was widely admired for his business acumen. At his peak, he was listed at #174 on the Forbes 400. But, according to David Callahan, he also presided over the largest fraud in U.S. history, one that hurt investment funds and retirees across the country–$11 billion in accounting lies. When he was uncovered, he told his congregation More than anything else, I hope this doesn’t jeopardize my witness for Jesus Christ. Ebbers now resides at Oakdale (La.) Federal Correctional Institution, and, at age 66, can look forward to release only in July, 2028. Everything but his house and $50,000 of assets were sold to pay back some of the millions his fraud cost investors, and his wife got all that in the divorce. Winner, or loser?

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