Jeffrey Skilling's Appeals Are Over: He & Feds Agree to a Maximum Sentence of 17 Years

Categories: Courts

Enron & The Rocket: Two slightly tarnished icons.
Still fighting his lonely battle seven years after his fraud conviction, former Enron honcho Jeffrey Skilling has reached an agreement with the feds on his sentence and will drop all his appeals, the two sides announced today.

Skilling, who has been in federal custody since December 2006, has agreed to let U.S. District Judge Sim Lake sentence him in June to between 14 and 17 and a half years in federal prison, including time served. Skilling has agreed not to appeal whatever sentence is given as long as it does not exceed that maximum of 17 and a half. That could lop as much as a decade off his original sentence of 24 years.

"Today's agreement will put an end to the legal battles surrounding this case," said Department of Justice spokesperson Peter Carr. "Mr. Skilling will no longer be permitted to challenge his conviction for one of the most notorious frauds in American history, and victims of his crime will finally receive the more than $40 million in restitution they are owed. This agreement ensures that Mr. Skilling will be appropriately punished for his crimes and that victims will finally receive the restitution they deserve."

Skilling's lawyer, David Petrocelli, had a statement, too:

The proposed agreement brings certainty and finality to a long painful process. Although the recommended sentence for Jeff would still be more than double any other Enron defendant, all of whom have long been out of prison, Jeff will at least have the chance to get back a meaningful part of his life.

Skilling had originally been sentenced to slightly more than 24 years in prison. Both the original and the newly negotiated sentences include repayment of at least $40 million from the sale of his assets. The money will go to those harmed by Enron's collapse.

The sentencing is set for June 21.

The sentencing agreement:

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United States Courthouse

515 Rusk St., Houston, TX

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Skiling, like the Rocket, simply showed the benefits of bending the rules to get ahead. They should be praised as true American heroes. At least by the Gordon Geckos of the world.


Judge Lake, please don't go wobbly: he deserves at least 17, not only for the lives he devastated, but as a symbol of white collar crime. Wish more of the 'smartest guys in the room' had gotten what they deserved, and I wish Phil Gramm was serving some time for his brilliant 'regulation is passe' rhetoric and legislation.

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