press trust of india
HOUSTON, 22 JUNE: Former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling serving a 24-year prison term for his role in the once-mighty energy giant’s collapse has succeeded in getting his prison sentence reduced by 10 years as part of an agreement with prosecutors.
US District Judge Sim Lake shaved off the prison sentence of Skilling (59), who has been in prison since 2006, closing the book on one of the most spectacular white-collar cases of the last two decades.
With the sentence reduction and time off for good behaviour, he could go free in 2017.
“This is not an easy decision to make,” Mr Lake said about the number of months to choose.
“The two most significant factors are the need for the sentence to deter others from similar action and to reflect the seriousness of the offense, both of which is adequately reflected by 168 months. The court is not persuaded a longer sentence is necessary.”
As part of the resentencing deal brokered between prosecutors and the defence last month, Skilling agreed to stop challenging his conviction and forfeit roughly $42 million that will be distributed among the victims of the Enron fraud.
“The sentence handed down today ends years of litigation, imposes significant punishment upon the defendant and precludes him from ever challenging his conviction or sentence,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman said in a statement. It’s unclear exactly when Skilling will be released under his new 14-year sentence.