updated 7/11/2006 8:36:15 PM ET 2006-07-12T00:36:15

The federal government wants former Enron Corp. Chief Executive Jeffrey Skilling to remain a felon, prosecutors said in court filings Tuesday.

Prosecutors, not surprisingly, said as much in response to Skilling’s request filed last month that a judge overturn a jury’s May verdict that found him guilty of 19 criminal counts related to fraud at the energy company before it crashed into bankruptcy proceedings in 2001.

In court papers, Skilling’s lead lawyer, Daniel Petrocelli, had argued that evidence presented at the four-month trial that ended in May was “legally insufficient” to support Skilling’s convictions. Petrocelli asked that U.S. District Judge Sim Lake dismiss the verdict and acquit Skilling of all charges, or throw out the result and order a new trial.

On Tuesday, prosecutors responded in court papers that said trial evidence “overwhelmingly” established Skilling’s guilt and “ample evidence” showed he perpetuated a conspiracy to lie about Enron’s health to hide financial tricks used to create an illusion of strength and success.

Lake has yet to issue a ruling.

Skilling was convicted alongside Enron founder Kenneth Lay, who died last week of heart disease. Jurors found Lay guilty of six counts of fraud and conspiracy and Skilling guilty of 19 of 28 counts of fraud, conspiracy, insider trading and lying to auditors. Lake also convicted Lay of one count of bank fraud and three counts of lying to banks after a separate, non-jury trial.

Skilling is slated to be sentenced Oct. 23. He plans to appeal the verdict.

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