Houston, Texas: Up until Tuesday, his release date had been listed as February 21, 2019. Former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling was originally scheduled to be released Thursday from the halfway house he is at in Texas, but his release date on the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ website has been changed to “unknown.”
Up until Tuesday, his release date had been listed as February 21, 2019. When contacted by News 88.7, the Federal Bureau of Prisons said the only information they could provide is that Skilling is still in its custody.
In 2006, Skilling was convicted of fraud, conspiracy and insider trading in connection with the collapse of the Houston-based energy giant. Enron’s bankruptcy and ensuing scandal rocked Houston and led to widespread federal accounting reforms for corporations.
Skilling was fined $45 million and originally sentenced to 24 years in prison, though in 2013 his sentence was reduced to 14 years. In August 2018, he was released from prison and transferred to a halfway house at an undisclosed location in Texas.
Enron Refresher: What Happened
Skilling joined Enron in 1990, and under his leadership it grew into one of the largest companies in the country and a coveted place for employment. “We all in Houston wanted to work for Enron. That was the place to be if you were any good,” Ravi Kathuria, a former Enron employee, previously told News 88.7.
Between 1998 and January 2001 Enron’s stock climbed from $30 per share to over $80. But by December 2001, Enron had filed for bankruptcy after it was revealed that it had been misstating its earnings for years. Shareholders lost billions of dollars and employees lost their retirement savings.
The subsequent investigation into Enron and its executives took five years to complete, and it’s often referred to as the most complex white collar criminal case.
“It was complex because of Enron’s finances, their accounting and their finances. They used very complicated financial structures,” former FBI special agent Michael Anderson previously told News 88.7. “Andy Fastow, Enron’s chief financial officer, was authorized by the board of directors to actually have a side business of equity partnerships, where people would invest in those, and then those partnerships were used to buy assets from Enron, which is a huge conflict of interest. But Enron used that to move under-performing assets off their books and to meet the quarterly numbers.”
Skilling was tried alongside Enron founder and long-time CEO Ken Lay, who died of a heart attack shortly after his sentencing.