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Ebbers jury ends Day 3 of deliberations

Former WorldCom chief Ebbers arrives at federal court in New York
Bernard Ebbers, the former chief executive officer of WorldCom arrives at federal court in New York on March 8. He faces up to 85 years in prison if convicted of all the charges. Peter Morgan / Reuters
/ Source: The Associated Press

Jurors reviewed testimony from former WorldCom chief Bernard Ebbers for the first time Tuesday but failed to reach a verdict in their third day of deliberations at his fraud trial.

The jury of seven women and five men asked in an afternoon note to see transcripts of testimony from Ebbers, 63, who is accused of engineering the $11 billion fraud at WorldCom.

On the stand last week, Ebbers claimed he was never made aware that accountants were falsifying books at the company. The defense claims former chief financial officer Scott Sullivan masterminded the fraud.

The jury also requested a transcript of Ebbers’ cross-examination, during which the former chief executive said he simply did not notice irregularities in company financial papers that reflected the fraud.

The jury also asked to examine testimony from Betty Vinson and Troy Normand, two accounting executives who pleaded guilty to taking part in the fraud, and they asked for a list of documents that were seized from Ebbers’ office by authorities.

Later in the day, the jury reviewed a videotape of Ebbers speaking at a November 2000 conference in which he apologized for the company’s poor performance and vowed it would find its way.

Jurors were to return to court Wednesday morning to continue their deliberations, which began Friday.

Ebbers is charged with fraud, conspiracy and making seven false filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The counts carry up to 85 years in prison.