No. of Recommendations: 5
from today's Houston Chronicle:

Skilling feeling the heat - Ex-Enron CEO expects charges

One year after resigning ahead of the Enron Corp. cataclysm, former CEO Jeffrey Skilling is preparing for likely criminal charges and an ensuing legal battle that will determine his future.

"He definitely understands there is a strong risk of indictment," said his brother Mark, a lawyer and writer living in Istanbul, Turkey.

"He thinks he has committed no crime, but he understands in the political climate that exists now, anything is possible," Mark Skilling said.


Skilling's defense against a federal indictment remains the same as it was when he testified in February -- if there was fraud, he didn't know about it.

That defense may be tough to sell to a jury, experts said.

"It takes an incredible, phenomenal ability to synthesize information and retain details to achieve what Skilling did at Harvard Business School, and later as a top financial consultant," Miller said. "It is very hard to believe he suddenly developed amnesia."

Skilling's problem is that a complex federal fraud prosecution often becomes a feeding frenzy. "The only leverage anybody has in this is to hand them somebody up the ladder. Well, Skilling is at the top of the ladder," said one attorney close to the case.

Key subordinates such as former Treasurer Ben Glisan already have given prosecutors a written offer to tell what they know in exchange for immunity from prosecution.

Others, such as former Chief Financial Officer Andrew Fastow and former Executive Vice President Richard Causey, had direct dealings with Skilling on Enron transactions being scrutinized by prosecutors. That makes them potential witnesses against him, sources said, especially if doing so could keep them out of prison, or carve years off sentences.

If Skilling was able to provide evidence against Enron Audit Committee Chairwoman Wendy Gramm and her husband Sen. Phil Gramm, I'd be willing to knock a few years off his sentence. <grin>


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