U.S. Supreme Court Turns Down Former Enron Chief's Appeal

Skilling still awaits hearings for new sentence.

The U.S. Supreme Court Monday turned down the latest appeal by former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling to overturn his conviction for his role in the energy giant's spectacular 2001 collapse.

Without comment, the Supreme Court refused to examine Skilling's appeal to re-examine the conspiracy charges, thus confirming lower court rulings.

Skilling, who became the poster child for corporate malfeasance, was appealing his May 2006 conviction by challenging the federal law that punishes executives who fail to provide "honest services."

Thousands of people lost their jobs and life savings when Enron collapsed. The ensuing scandal undermined faith in corporate America and led to a massive stock market sell-off.

In April 2011 a federal appeals court confirmed Skilling's conviction for his role in hiding company losses and hyping the value of Enron stock while selling his own shares and those of company founder Kenneth Lay as the company crumbled.

The appeals court, however, ordered hearings to set a new sentence, which is still pending.

Skilling, who is currently in prison, was sentenced in 2006 to 24 years behind bars.

Lay died in July 2006 of heart failure before he was sentenced, and his conviction on 10 counts of fraud, conspiracy and banking violations was subsequently thrown out because he could not appeal the verdict.

In June 2010 the Supreme Court disagreed with Skilling's claims that he could not get a fair trial in Houston where the case was heard and the company was based, because of intense media coverage which likely served to prejudice the jury against them.

The court invalidated an aspect of Skilling's conviction of conspiracy to defraud shareholders and threw out one of the charges, but affirmed the conviction.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

See also:

Enron Founder Kenneth Lay Dies

Editor's Page -- Emerging From Enron's Ashes

Vision Vanquisher

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