Thursday, April 19, 2012

Enron’s Former CEO Jeffrey Skilling Gets Justice From the Supreme Court

In This Case Justice Means He Has to Stay in Jail – His True Home

When Enron collapsed it was not just another bad set of business decisions.  The executives of the company clearly engaged in illegal activity, as a trial by jury determined.  The CEO, Jeffrey Skilling was sentenced to a long prison term, not that that did anything to help people who lost their jobs and their retirement benefits and investors who lost huge sums of money and consumers who were manipulated into paying higher utility bills than otherwise should have occurred.

But Mr. Skilling did win a sort of victory at the Supreme Court that ruled that part of his conviction was based on a statute that was too vague to be used.  Mr. Skilling then argued that his entire conviction should be set aside and he should go free.  The Supreme Court just decided that no, that is not the case in the case.

The Supreme Court on Monday turned aside jailed Enron executive Jeff Skilling's second appeal, upholding his corporate corruption fraud conviction.

The justices without comment rejected call to take another look at the scope of a conspiracy charge -- so-called "honest services" fraud.

Mr. Skilling had his day in court and this is what the trial determined.

Skilling, 58, is currently in federal prison. He was convicted of 19 counts of fraud, conspiracy, and insider trading relating to the collapse of the Texas-based energy services giant in late 2001.

He will be eligible for another look at his sentencing.  The Supreme Court did not say why they denied his appeal, but one thinks it is probably because they know they erred when they weakened the law against “theft of honest services”, a law that says when a person betrays the trust and the fiduciary responsibility that they have they can be convicted of a crime. 

The Supreme Court is human, at least sometimes, and one has to feel that the Justices did not want this man who did so much damage to so many people to go free on a legal technicality.  Hurray for them.

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