HOUSTON — One of the country's most notorious financial scandals came to a protracted legal conclusion Friday as ex-Enron Corp. CEO Jeffrey Skilling, already in prison for his role in the once-mighty energy giant's 2001 collapse, was resentenced to 14 years as part of a court-ordered reduction and a separate agreement with prosecutors.
Skilling's sentence was reduced by 10 years, and his attorneys say it's likely that with time off for good behavior and other factors he will be released in 2017.
Skilling, 59, who declined to make statements during Friday's resentencing hearing, has been in prison since 2006, when he was sentenced to more than 24 years by U.S. District Judge Sim Lake. But an appeals court vacated his prison term in 2009, ruling that a sentencing guideline was improperly applied. That meant a reduction of as much as nine years.
However, Skilling's resentencing was delayed for years as he unsuccessfully sought to overturn his convictions.
Even with the reduced sentence, Skilling's prison term is still the longest of those involved in the Enron scandal. Convicted in 2006 on 19 counts of conspiracy, securities fraud, insider trading and lying to auditors, he was the highest-ranking executive to be punished. Enron founder Kenneth Lay's similar convictions were vacated after he died of heart disease less than two months after his trial.