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I didn’t believe this one when I saw it but former Enron criminal Jeffrey Skilling received a decade off his sentence for surrendering assets the government had already seized. From the article:


Enron’s collapse wiped out more than $2bn in employee pensions, $60bn in Enron stock and cost thousands their jobs. The $40m seized by the government will be distributed to victims of Enron’s fraud.
Yet another case showing the huge difference between when a rich person deals with the justice system and when the rest of us deal with it.  I wonder if a person convicted for possessing, say, $100 worth of illegal drugs on them could just pay a small portion of that and receive a reduced sentence?  No?  Didn’t think so.

And let’s do some quick math here.  $62 billion in damage caused to thousands, and maybe tens of thousands, of people.  He pays $40 million back.  That’s roughly .06% of the damage caused.  I wonder if I can pay that percentage of my next traffic ticket and the government will accept that as basically all square?

The one positive from this was the simple fact he did go to prison over the massive fraud he committed and will serve a good chuck of time.  Still waiting for the folks responsible for the bigger financial crisis to see some prison time…

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Comment Preferences

  •  He used money to reduce his sentence????? (7+ / 0-)

    Of course not.  If you read your own link, what happened is that he had appeals pending (like zillions of other people convicted of crimes) and depending on what the appellate courts ruled, the possibilities were (1) he would serve his full sentence and crime; (2) his conviction would be vacated and they would have to do the trial all over again; or (3) his conviction would be vacated and he'd walk free, no fine.  That is also typical of zillions of other convicted defendants.  

    Part of the job of the prosecutors is to evaluate the arguments made on appeal, and to gauge the likelihood of each of those possibilities.  And, when they see a possibility of (2) or (3), they often cut a deal with the defendant -- drop your appeal, and in exchange, you will get a somewhat lesser sentence, but it's a sure thing you will serve that lesser sentence.  Again, there's nothing outrageous about that -- it happens all the time in the criminal justice system.  For example, prosecutors who have the possibility of getting the death penalty against a defendant may abandon the death penalty in exchange for the defendant to agree to life in prison.  Nothing unusual or outrageous about that.  

    And his fine is going to be based on what he is worth, not the total damages.  A fine of billions means nothing if all he has is $10 million.  A better question to ask about the fine is whether it leaves him with anything in the way of assets.  

  •  I'm waiting too... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini, ciganka, scrambler


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