The former boss of Enron, Jeffrey Skilling, has been sentenced to 24 years in prison for his part in the United States’ biggest ever corporate scandal. He was found guilty in May of 19 counts of conspiracy, fraud, insider trading and lying to auditors. Legal experts said Skilling, 52, was expected to be given a sentence of between 20 and 30 years.
Under Skilling, Enron became the world’s largest energy trading firm, with a market value of more that 55 billion euros. His co-defendant, Enron’s founder Kenneth Lay, died from heart disease in July. Juries found the pair had orchestrated a series of financial schemes to try and hide the true picture of the company’s finances.
When it went bankrupt five years ago, 21,000 people lost their jobs. Pension funds, worth an estimated 1.5 euros, were wiped out. The sentencing hearing heard from a dozen former Enron employees, investors and customers.