Jeffrey Skilling, the ex-Enron chief executive who was sent to prison in 2006 after being convicted for his role in the energy giant’s collapse, could be freed by the end of the decade after a US judge cut his sentence from 24 to 14 years.
The reduction follows a deal between prosecutors and Skilling’s lawyers under which around $41m (£27m) of the 59-year-old’s fortune will be distributed to victims of Enron’s collapse. The ruling also puts an end to years of appeals.
In 2006, Skilling was convicted on a variety of charges connected to the collapse of the Houston-based energy company in 2001. A lengthy prison term followed. But in 2009 an appeals court ruled that a mistake had been in made in the way Skilling was sentenced.
Enron’s chairman Kenneth Lay was also convicted for his role in the collapse. But he died of heart failure weeks after the trial.
He was 64 years old and faced the possibility of spending the remainder of his life in prison.
Skilling has already served around six and a half years in prison.