Ex-Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling Gets 10 Years Cut From Sentence

Ex-Enron CEO gets 10 years cut from sentenceHOUSTON - One of the country's most notorious financial scandals came to a protracted legal conclusion Friday as ex-Enron Corp. CEO Jeffrey Skilling - already in prison for his role in the once-mighty energy giant's collapse - was resentenced to 14 years as part of a court-ordered reduction and a separate agreement with prosecutors.

Skilling's sentence was reduced by 10 years, and his attorneys say it's likely that with time off for good behavior and other factors he will be released in 2017.

Skilling has been in prison since 2006, when he was sentenced to more than 24 years by U.S. District Judge Sim Lake. But an appeals court vacated his prison term in 2009, ruling that a sentencing guideline was improperly applied. That meant a reduction of as much as nine years.

However, Skilling's resentencing was delayed for years as he unsuccessfully sought to overturn his convictions, including appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Justice Department said that in an effort to resolve a case that's gone on for more than 10 years, it agreed to an additional reduction of about 20 months as part of a deal to stop Skilling from filing any more appeals. Federal prosecutors say the deal will allow for the distribution of $41.8 million of Skilling'sassets in restitution to victims of Enron's 2001 collapse.

Even with the reduced sentence, Skilling's prison term is still the longest of those involved in the Enron scandal. He was the highest-ranking executive to be punished. Enron founder Kenneth Lay's similar convictions were vacated after he died of heart disease less than two months after his trial.

Skilling, 59, declined to make statements during Friday's resentencing hearing.

He was convicted in 2006 on 19 counts of conspiracy, securities fraud, insider trading and lying to auditors for his role in the downfall of Houston-based Enron. The company, once the seventh-largest in the U.S., went bankrupt under the weight of years of illicit business deals and accounting tricks.

A one-time visionary, Skilling was vilified by many former Enron employees for denying any wrongdoing.

Former Enron worker Diana Peters, the only victim who spoke at the resentencing hearing, said employees gave their hard work, spirit and trust to Skilling and others at Enron.

"Jeff Skilling betrayed that trust to those employees and played a part in the financial collapse of an amazing company," Peters said.

The U.S. Supreme Court said in 2010 that one of Skilling's convictions was flawed when it sharply curtailed the use of the "honest services" fraud law - a short addendum to the federal mail and wire fraud statute that makes it illegal to scheme to deprive investors of "the intangible right to honest services."

The high court ruled that prosecutors can use the law only in cases where evidence shows the defendant accepted bribes or kickbacks, and because Skilling's misconduct entailed no such things, he did not conspire to commit honest services fraud.

The Supreme Court told a lower court to decide whether he deserved a new trial; the lower court said no.

Enron's collapse put more than 5,000 people out of work, wiped out more than $2 billion in employee pensions and rendered worthless $60 billion in Enron stock. Its aftershocks were felt across the city and the U.S. energy industry.

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pmrspnj2

have all of his assets been distributed to the victims of his criminal activity?
is his family living in a 50 yr old trailer like some of his victims?
he should have any future asset he develops taken to reimburse the victims !!
he should be invited to a meeting of all his victims. the doors should be locked and the police should go away.

either that or he should be living in a cardboard box in nome alaska.

June 27 2013 at 6:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim

Did any of his victems get any cuts in their suffering?

June 24 2013 at 7:24 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Paul FIQUET

Seems like white collar crime does pay...reduced sentence for someone who stole the poor people's money...outrageous.

June 24 2013 at 6:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ccurt78

What about ALL the people he defrauded. People who had worked hard, planned for a modest retirement, and LOST everything due this persons greed and criminal activity. And we are to feel sorry for skilling, or all the other greedy business people, and politicians who made billions, by robbing us. I think not, hang the bastards,change the laws, expose groups like ALEX, demand our voice be heard and represented.

June 24 2013 at 6:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
robertlms9

you guys are missing the bigger picture the hell with employees and stockholders what about all the elderly that died because the couldn't afford air and heat it could've been your relative that to me is manslaughter !!!!!! premediated cmon folks people were dying govt says chalk it up wow be any means necessary whats a few hundred lives lost when we can make millions being fraudulent what an America we serve!!!!!!

June 24 2013 at 3:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jeff

Once again, the fix is in! What kind of moron still places any confidence in any part of this gov't.? It would almost be funny watching the antics of these various gov't. agencies if the damage they cause daily wasn't so destructive to the country.

June 24 2013 at 2:56 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
stnycrk101

This guy & Ken Lay together ruined the lives of thousands of employees & investors. They also almost bankrupted several utility companies. However, these deeds are not considered as serious as some guy selling a bag of marijuana who would probably get a 20 year sentence in some states. If you are wealthy, no matter the crime, you won't do the time.

June 24 2013 at 12:16 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
rem119

They'll allow re distribution of $41.8 million of his assets as restitution. How much in assets does he have!! This guy should have EVERY CENT taken from him and put into that pension fund those employees were working for. THIS IS JUSTICE????

June 23 2013 at 11:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mrspeedracer6

The guy should be in prison until he dies!

June 23 2013 at 10:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mgocean95

How much money was the judge paid off by Skilling's theft?

June 23 2013 at 10:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply