NEW YORK – Federal prosecutors Wednesday asked a judge to reject requests by former WorldCom (search) Chief Executive Bernard Ebbers (search) to have his criminal fraud trial moved out of New York and delayed until next year.
In court papers filed with U.S. District Judge Barbara Jones, prosecutors said Ebbers should not be rewarded for his "failure to use wisely and efficiently the ample time he had to prepare" for the November trial.
Lawyers for Ebbers, who is facing fraud charges related to WorldCom's $11 billion accounting scandal, asked for a three month delay because of the complexity of the case and the massive number of documents involved.
They have also sought to have the trial moved from federal court in New York to Mississippi, where the long-distance company was headquartered before it emerged from bankruptcy with a new name, MCI.
Federal prosecutors said the request to transfer the case was another delay tactic. "Given the timing and lack of notice surrounding this motion, the only purpose it appears to serve is to delay the trial in this matter."
Ebbers faces up to five years in prison if convicted of conspiracy. The counts of securities fraud and making false statements in public filings each carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine.