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Supreme Court will hear appeal of Enron's Skilling

October 14, 2009|Walter Hamilton

Chalk it up to the ghost of scandals past.

On Tuesday, the opening day of the trial of two Bear Stearns Cos. managers whose hedge funds collapsed in 2007 in the mortgage meltdown, a prominent figure from the Enron scandal reemerged in the public consciousness when the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear his appeal.

Jeffrey K. Skilling, Enron Corp.'s former chief executive, is seeking to overturn his 2006 conviction for securities fraud and other crimes associated with Enron's monumental collapse in late 2001.

Skilling, who is serving a 24-year sentence in a Colorado prison, could win a new trial if the Supreme Court sides with him.

Saying the government failed to prove that he sought to benefit personally from his actions at Enron, Skilling argues that a lower court erred in upholding his conviction.

The monumental fall in late 2001 of Enron, once a globe-girdling energy giant that claimed to have ushered in a new era of energy trading, was the most prominent in a spate of corporate scandals that followed the late-1990s Internet boom.

Skilling was convicted along with his onetime boss, Kenneth L. Lay, whose conviction was vacated after his death two months later.

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walter.hamilton@latimes.com

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