Ex-Enron CEO gets 24 years in hi-tech prison

Skilling to make new markets and friends

Former Enron CEO Jeff Skilling can look forward to making markets around dynamic cigarette allocation and tender love auctions now that he's been sentenced to 24 years in prison.

US District Judge Sim Lake hit Skilling with his punishment today, saying the executive's "crimes have imposed on hundreds if not thousands, a life sentence of poverty." Lake recommended that Skilling do his time in a Butner, North Carolina federal prison. All three members of the Butner prison line are conveniently located near the hi-tech Research Triangle area, should Skilling want to fire up a new venture once his stretch in the pen ends.

Along with the prison sentence, Lake asked that Skilling go to mental health and alcohol programs and fork over $45m, which will go to Enron workers.

Skilling's partner in slime Ken Lay avoided the joys of lockdown when he suffered a heart attack in July and died.

During today's two-hour hearing, Skilling almost showed real signs of being sorry for his actions.

"In terms of remorse, I can't imagine more remorse," Skilling said. "I have good friends who have died."

Stop there, Jeff!

"All of that being said, your honor," Skilling continued. "I am innocent of these charges. I am innocent of every one of these charges."

Oh well.

He, of course, plans to appeal. ®

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