Former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling gets prison sentence cut

Former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling arrives at the Bob Casey Federal Courthouse for a resentencing hearing Friday, June 21, 2013, in Houston.
Former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling arrives at the Bob Casey Federal Courthouse for a resentencing hearing Friday, June 21, 2013, in Houston.Melissa Phillip / AP

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By Patrick Rizzo

One of the chief architects of oil giant Enron's epic collapse, former CEO Jeffrey Skilling, got a get-out-of-jail-early card Friday in a deal cut with federal prosecutors for his role in one of the biggest corporate scandals ever.

Skilling's 24-year prison term was cut to 14 years. A federal appeals panel ruled in 2009 that the sentence handed down to Skilling, 59, by federal Judge Sim Lake three years earlier for fraud, insider trading and conspiracy was too harsh.

His resentencing was delayed several times as his attorneys negotiated an agreement with the Justice Department.

Enron founder Kenneth Lay also was found guilty of multiple counts of conspiracy and fraud. He died of heart failure six weeks after the trial ended, prompting Lake to throw out the conviction.

Under the deal, more than $40 million of Skilling's fortune, which has been frozen since his conviction, will be distributed to victims of Enron's collapse.

Reuters contributed to this report.