Enron's Jeffrey Skilling gets 24 years in jail
Skilling convicted of federal
BY A CORRESPONDENT
October 24, 2006
The mastermind in history’s largest corporate fraud has got 24 years to languish in jail. Former Enron chief executive Jeffrey Skilling was handed over the judgment as the victims of Enron's collapse watched the proceedings with curiosity.
The defense attorney’s plea to lower the sentence by 10 months so that Skilling could serve it in a lower-security penitentiary was also dismissed. The judge however recommended that Skilling serve his sentence at a Federal Bureau of Prisons facility in Butner, N.C. Post-judgment, 53 year-old Skilling told onlookers that though he was disappointed with the sentence he doesn’t fault the judge for anything he did. He added, that he believed that he is innocent.
Meanwhile, the former vice president at Enron, Sherron Watkins, who blew the whistle on the fraud, showed no sympathy for her former boss.
It may be recalled that Jeffrey Skilling was convicted in May 2005 for 19 counts of fraud, conspiracy, insider trading and lying to auditors. It was alleged that he, his boss the late Ken Lay, and other executives at Enron, had cheated the investing public, the US Securities and Exchange Commission and others about Enron's performance.
As many as 4,000 employees were left jobless and many of them lost all their savings when the company declared bankruptcy in December 2001. Worse, the investors lost billions. The fall of Enron was perhaps the first high-profile corporate scandal in the whole world.
Reactions to the Jeffrey Skilling sentence generally hover around one feeling. The sentence is seen as a measure of justice for the thousands of people who lost their jobs and millions of dollars in investments when Enron collapsed under the weight of the fraud by the top brass.