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A Famous CEO Villain Is Out of Prison

Enron's Jeffrey Skilling was released from federal custody on Thursday
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2019 10:23 AM CST
In this April 17, 2006, file photo, former Enron executive Jeffrey Skilling is escorted to the federal courthouse for his fraud and conspiracy trial in Houston.   (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)

(Newser) – He spent a dozen years behind bars for his role in the Enron scandal. Now, the energy company's former CEO is once again a free man, per Reuters. The Bureau of Prisons says that Jeffrey Skilling—who'd been convicted in 2006 on charges of securities fraud, insider trading, and conspiracy, among others—was released from federal custody Thursday, though few details were given, the Houston Chronicle reports. The 65-year-old had been moved in August from a prison camp in Alabama back to Texas, where he was said to have been incarcerated at a Houston residential re-entry site.

Skilling was originally given a 24-year prison sentence, but that was slashed to 14 years in 2013 in an agreement with prosecutors. He was also fined $45 million, which all together was the most severe sentence any Enron exec received. Enron founder Kenneth Lay, who was also convicted on conspiracy and fraud charges, died of heart issues at the age of 64, just weeks after the trial came to a close but prior to sentencing. Per the AP, the 2001 Enron collapse made more than $2 billion in employee pensions vanish, tanked Enron stock, and left upward of 5,000 people without jobs. (Skilling's college-age son was found dead in 2011.)

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