Bernard John "Bernie" Ebbers (born August 27, 1941) is a Canadian-born businessman. He co-founded the telecommunications company WorldCom and is a former chief executive officer of that company.
In 2005, he was convicted of fraud and conspiracy as a result of WorldCom's false financial reporting, and subsequent loss of US$100-billion to investors. The WorldCom scandal was, until the Madoff schemes came to light in 2008, the largest accounting scandal in United States history. He is currently serving a 25-year prison term at Oakdale Federal Correctional Complex in Louisiana. Portfolio.com and CNBC named Ebbers as the fifth-worst CEO in American history; Time magazine named him the tenth most corrupt CEO of all time.
Born to the family of a traveling salesman, Bernard Ebbers was the second of five children. He was born in Edmonton and his family also lived in California and New Mexico, while he was growing up, before returning to Edmonton. After high school, Ebbers briefly attended the University of Alberta and Calvin College before enrolling at Mississippi College. During the time between schools he worked as a milkman and bouncer. While attending Mississippi College, Ebbers earned a basketball scholarship. An injury before his senior season prevented him from playing his final year. Instead of playing, he was assigned to coach the junior varsity team.