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Last Updated: Monday, 23 October 2006, 20:49 GMT 21:49 UK
Enron boss gets 24-year sentence
Former Enron chief executive Jeffrey Skilling
Skilling was found guilty of fraud, insider trading and conspiracy

Former Enron boss Jeffrey Skilling has been sentenced to 24 years for his role in the giant fraud that led to the energy firm's 2001 collapse.

In May he had been found guilty on 19 counts including fraud, conspiracy and insider trading, and was told he could expect 20 to 30 years in prison.

The former chief executive of the US energy giant was convicted together with Enron's ex-chairman Kenneth Lay.

Mr Lay has since died and his convictions have been quashed.

This is because Mr Lay, who died of a heart attack in July, passed away before he was able to appeal against the verdict.

The scandal at the one-time energy giant left 21,000 people out of work, and shook corporate America, when the firm went bankrupt in 2001 with debts of $31.8bn (18bn).

Remorse

Skilling was found to have orchestrated a series of loss-making deals and financial schemes to try to hide debts from investors.

You should be ashamed
Ann Beliveaux,
Former Enron employee

"Crimes of this magnitude deserve severe punishment," US District Court Judge Sim Lake told Skilling before sentencing him to 24 years and four months in jail.

"In terms of remorse your honour, I can't imagine more remorse," Skilling told the court before he was sentenced.

"That being said your honour, I am innocent of these charges."

Before sentencing Skilling was made to listen to testimony from a number of victims of the Enron fraud.

"You should be ashamed," said Ann Beliveaux, an employee who lost her entire retirement savings.

"When things got bad, you jumped ship."

Skilling has said he will appeal against his conviction.

The judge confined him to his home where he is to wear an ankle monitor until he reports to prison.





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