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September 4, 2018
Former Enron CEO Jeff Skilling completes his time in federal prison
The name Jeff Skilling still stirs up a lot of sentencing thoughts for me because, 15 years ago, he was portrayed as one of the "worst-of-the-worst" white-collar offenders and he was one of the first very high-profile white-collar defendants to be sentenced after Booker made the guidelines advisory. Consequently, this new article caught my eye under the headline "Former Enron CEO Jeff Skilling released from prison and sent to a halfway house." Here are the particulars and context:
Jeffrey K. Skilling, the former Enron CEO sentenced to a long prison term for his role in one of most notorious corporate fraud cases in history, was recently released from a minimum security federal prison camp in Alabama to a halfway house at an undisclosed location.
Enron's spectacular collapse cost investors billions of dollars and wiped out the retirement savings — not to mention the jobs — of thousands of employees. Skilling, 64, was convicted of 12 counts of securities fraud, five counts of making false statements to auditors, one count of insider trading and one count of conspiracy in 2006 for his role in hiding debt and orchestrating a web of financial fraud that ended in the Houston company's bankruptcy.
He was sentenced to 24 years in prison and fined $45 million, the harshest sentence of any former Enron executive. Five years ago, Skilling's sentence was reduced to 14 years by U.S. District Judge Sim Lake. He is scheduled to be released Feb. 21, 2019, according to the Bureau of Prisons.
Federal prisoners are often released from prison several months early to a halfway house, a highly restricted dormitory-like setting that helps inmates ease back into society. They must maintain curfews, find work and stay out of trouble. A. Kelley, assistant residential re-entry manager for the Bureau of Prisons in San Antonio, said the bureau would not say where Skilling is living.
The Bureau of Prisons typically sends inmates to a halfway house in their home city where they resided before incarceration. It helps them re-acclimate to a more normal life and re-establish relationships with their families, said Philip Hilder, a white-collar defense lawyer who represented Sherron Watkins, a former vice president at Enron who went to then-Enron chairman Kenneth Lay to warn him of accounting irregularities she discovered while reviewing Enron's assets.
Inmates are typically required to get a job while they're at a halfway house and to report regularly to the federal probation department for up to three years, Hilder said. Skilling's lawyer could not be reached for comment.
September 4, 2018 at 10:26 AM | Permalink