Former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling has been in prison since 2001, the year of Enron’s infamous financial collapse. At the time, Skilling was sentenced to 24 years in prison on charges of fraud, conspiracy, and insider trading.
But just because Skilling is in prison doesn’t mean his negotiating days are over. According to the Wall Street Journal, Skilling has reached a deal with prosecutors that could take up to 10 years off of his sentence.
In order to be released early, Skilling has agreed to drop all of his remaining legal challenges. For Skilling, this is no small matter. Included in his forfeitures is the right to over $40 million of seized personal assets. In the deal, this money would be used to compensate victims of Enron’s financial schemes.
That money would go to good use; over 4,000 Enron employees lost their jobs and life savings when the company declared bankruptcy in 2001.
"This agreement ensures that Mr. Skilling will be appropriately punished for his crimes and that victims will finally receive the restitution they deserve," said Peter Carr, a U.S. Department of Justice spokesman. "Mr. Skilling will no longer be permitted to challenge his conviction for one of the most notorious frauds in American history."
A judge must accept the agreement in order for it to become official. Most involved with the case expect that to happen within the next few weeks. Here’s to hoping every bit of that $40 million goes to the victims who need it most.