Former Enron CEO Skillings Pays $40 Million, Gets 10 Years Cut Off Prison Sentence

| by Jonathan Wolfe
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Former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skillings had 10 years shaved off of his prison sentence today.

Skillings' sentence reduction is the result of a deal worked out between his legal team and prosecutors. Under the deal, more than $40 million of Skillings' fortune will be distributed to victims of Enron’s Skillings-led financial collapse.

Skillings was initially convicted on 19 charges in May of 2006. His charges included lying to financial auditors, conspiracy, security fraud, and insider trading.

His resentencing had been pending for four years. In 2009, a federal appeals court ruled that presiding Judge Simeon Lake added undeserved years to Skillings sentence because he had damaged a financial institution. Since 2009, Skillings legal team has sought numerous appeal trials, even reaching the Supreme Court in 2010.

But the appeal process came to a close in May when prosecutors initially agreed on the bargain made official today.

Let’s think about what’s happening here for a second. Skillings is still officially guilty of every crime he was charged with. He ruined thousands of lives through his corporate crimes. But he pays $40 million and now he deserves to have ten years cut off of his sentence? Justice seems to be really blind. Blind, that is, to everything except the dollar.

Pending good behavior in prison, Skillings could be free as early as 2017. Then again, you never know. Seems like if he forks over a few more million he could be out tomorrow.

In Skillings, the Department of Justice had the perfect opportunity to show white-collar criminals that they will be held to the same laws as the rest of us. Unfortunately, this sentence reduction sends just the opposite message.

Source: Huffington Post