A federal judge ordered former WorldCom Inc. Chief Executive Bernard Ebbers, who was convicted of orchestrating an $11 billion accounting fraud, to report to federal prison on Sept. 26 to begin his 25-year sentence.

Ebbers must report to an institution to be designated by the Bureau of Prisons, according to the order dated Sept. 5 from U.S. District Judge Barbara Jones in Manhattan.

Ebbers was convicted by a jury in March 2005 of nine counts of conspiracy, securities fraud and other crimes that led to the telephone company's July 2002 bankruptcy.

He had remained free on bail while appealing his conviction and sentence, but in July a three-judge panel of the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed both.

Ebbers' attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.

WorldCom emerged from bankruptcy as MCI Inc., which was later acquired by Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) Ebbers agreed last year to forfeit almost all of his personal wealth in a settlement with WorldCom investors.