Jeffrey Skilling, the former CEO of Enron is appealing his federal conviction and arguing that his 24 year sentence is unconstitutional. In May 2006, Skilling was convicted of 19 counts of fraud, conspiracy and insider trading in the Enron case. The former chairman of Enron, Kenneth Lay, was convicted of many counts in the same trial, but died several weeks afterward.
The appeal cites many arguments, including:
- Not moving the trial out of Houston was unfair to Skilling, as the community was outraged and “thirsting for vengeance”
- The jury selection process was flawed
- The 24 year prison sentence is not consistent with federal sentencing guidelines and statutes
- The an executive shouldn’t be held liable for defrauding an employer when his acts are intended to benefit the employer
In December, Skilling asked for bail while his appeal was pending. The Fifth Circuit, which will hear the appeal, denied bail but suggested that some of the conviction counts may be reversed.
Today a federal judge sentenced former Enron executive Jeffrey Skilling to 24 years and 4 months in prison for his conviction on federal charges of conspiracy, fraud and insider trading. Skilling, 52, was also fined over $18 million for his crimes. He was denied bond while waiting to report to prison, and instead is on home confinement.
Andrew Fastow, former CFO of Enron, was sentenced to six years in federal prison today. Following his prison term, Fastow is required to serve two years of full-time community service.
Fastow reached a plea deal in early 2004, in which he agreed to plead guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit fraud. That deal included a recommended prison sentence of 10 years, but Judge Kenneth Hoyt had discretion to sentence him to less time. Continue reading
Former employees of Enron were thankful and encouraged upon hearing that Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling were found guilty of felony charges of conspiracy and fraud. While nothing will give back all that they lost, the idea that “justice prevails” has encouraged the former employees.
Both defendants proclaimed their innocence and vowed to appeal the jury’s verdict. After surrendering his passport and paying a $5 million bod, Lay said:
I firmly believe I’m innocent of the charges against me as I have said from day one.
Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling, both former heads of Enron Corp., were found guilty by a jury on Thursday of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud. The trial lasted almost four months, and the jury deliberated for nearly six days.
Skilling was convicted of 19 of the 28 counts he was charged with, and Lay was convicted on all six counts against him. Lay was also convicted of two federal charges brought against him by the Federal government in a separate trial.
The collapse of Enron, one of the biggest business scandals in U.S. history, became synonymous with the word fraud.