The chief executive convicted of being behind the complex accounting fraud
that lay behind the collapse of Enron has won the right to have his appeal heard
by the US Supreme Court.
Jeffrey Skilling was sentenced to 24 years in prison in 2006 for a fraud,
which not only brought down Enron but, the then global accounting firm Andersen.
He was convicted alongside Enron’s chairman Ken Lay who died while awaiting
Andrew Fastow, Enron chief financial officer, entered in a plea bargain with
US authorities and received a six-year sentence in return for his cooperation
with the investigation. He also forfeited up to $23m in family assets. He alone
faced 78 charges of fraud, money laundering and conspiracy.
According to reports in the press Skilling will base his appeal on
challenging the legal concept of “honest services”. This principle sets the
standard of probity share holders can expect from executives. Skilling’s
argument, according to reports, is that the concept is flawed.
However, even if Skilling wins his appeal, according to today’s
do not believe his conviction will be completely overturned.
The paper quotes Peter Henning, a legal expert at the Wayne State University
of Michigan, saying the challenge would be used to test the law and that
Skilling stood a good chance of a retrial.
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