The former chief of WorldCom, convicted in one of the largest corporate accounting scandals in U.S. history, died just over a month after his early release from prison. Bernard Ebbers was 78.

The Canadian-born former telecommunications executive died Sunday in Brookhaven, Mississippi, surrounded by his family, according to a family statement.

WorldCom Inc. collapsed and went into bankruptcy in 2002, following revelations of an $11 billion accounting fraud that included pressure by top executives on subordinates to inflate numbers to make the company seem more profitable. The collapse caused losses to stockholders, including those who had invested through retirement plans.

Ebbers was convicted in New York in 2005 on securities fraud and other charges and received a 25-year sentence.

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