Former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling leaves the federal courthouse in Houston on Friday after having 10 years lopped off his sentence.
As the former CEO of energy giant Enron, Jeffrey Skilling played a major role in what’s been called “one of the biggest corporate scandals ever.” But because of an agreement reached with federal prosecutors, he’ll get out of prison 10 years early.
On Friday, a federal judge accepted the deal and slashed Skilling’s sentence from 24 years to 14 years, meaning he could be released as early as 2017. Skilling’s get-out-of-jail-early card also includes a more than $40 million payout to the victims of the collapse of Enron from the corrupt CEO’s fortune, which has been frozen since he was convicted on numerous charges back in 2006.
Skilling’s resentencing had been pending since 2009, when a federal appeals court ruled that Lake wrongly added years to his sentence because Skilling’s actions had jeopardized a financial institution.
In the interim his legal team pursued more appeals and sought a new trial, reaching the U.S. Supreme Court in 2010.
His lawyers were on their third such effort when they and U.S. prosecutors in May forged a deal for a 14- to 17-1/2-year sentence to end the litigation for good.
Skilling still has the longest sentence of more than two dozen former Enron executives, including Chief Financial Officer Andrew Fastow, and others who pleaded guilty or were convicted of Enron-related crimes. All have served their prison terms.