Ex-Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling receives reduced sentence

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 23 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 23 June, 2013, 7:59am


Former Enron Corp chief executive Jeffrey Skilling - seen by many as exemplifying the worst in corporate fraud and greed in America - could be released from prison in about four years after a federal judge on Friday shaved off a decade from his original sentence of more than 24 years.

Skilling's resentencing during a packed courtroom hearing brought one of America's most notorious financial scandals - the collapse of the once-mighty energy giant - to a conclusion that upset some former Enron workers.

Ex-Enron worker Diana Peters, the only victim who spoke at the resentencing hearing, said afterward that Skilling should have to serve his entire original sentence.

"Jeffrey Skilling has never taken any responsibility for his actions," said the 63-year-old Peters, who lives in Huntsville, north of Houston. "He has no remorse for the end result of what happened."

The Justice Department said in order to resolve a case that had 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 said it would allow for US$41.8 million of Skilling's assets to be distributed as restitution to victims of Enron's 2001 collapse.

Skilling, 59, who has been in prison since 2006, declined to make a statement in the hearing.

His lawyer Daniel Petrocelli said he disagreed with claims that his client, who "still maintains his innocence", never expressed remorse for what happened at Enron. He said Skilling was not aware of the illegal activities of others, but "took complete responsibility for all the actions".

Petrocelli said the reduction, combined with time off for good behaviour and other factors, means Skilling was likely to be released by 2017.