Former WorldCom CEO Bernie Ebbers was convicted earlier this year in the company's $11 billion accounting fraud.
In sentencing papers filed with a federal judge, the government noted that federal probation officers have already recommended a life sentence for Ebbers based on sentencing guidelines.
The government told Judge Barbara Jones she should impose a sentence "consistent" with those guidelines and also follow a recent case in which Adelphia Communications founder John Rigas received what amounted to a life sentence.
Ebbers was convicted in March of orchestrating the fraud at WorldCom, which collapsed in bankruptcy in 2002 and has since re-emerged under the name MCI Incorporated.
Ebbers, 63, is scheduled to be sentenced July 13 in Manhattan federal court.
Five other former WorldCom executives who pleaded guilty in the fraud are also awaiting sentencing this summer.
Ebbers has argued he should receive a lighter sentence in part because of his poor health, including a history of serious heart problems.