Prosecutors raise Enron boss fine

US Federal prosecutors have raised the amount that former Enron boss Jeffrey Skilling should pay for his part in one of the largest fraud scandals ever.

Prosecutors want Skilling to pay the sum demanded by the court both from him, and from his now-deceased former co-defendant, Ken Lay, Enron’s founder.

They want Skilling to hand over $183m (£96m), the combined sum the two were set to pay, not just his $139m sum.

In May, they were found guilty of fraud and conspiracy in Enron’s collapse.

The conspiracy conviction means Skilling is “liable for all the proceeds attributable to all co-conspirators indicted or unindicted, including Lay,” by taking part in the plan, said prosecutors.

Along with Lay, Skilling was convicted of hiding Enron’s debts before its 2001 collapse.

But Lay died of a heart attack on 5 July.

His death came soon after prosecutors requested US district judge Sim Lake to order Skilling to hand over $139m and Lay $43.5m.

The government argued they had made this money by conspiring to give an overly positive – and false – picture of Enron’s finances.

Since then Lay’s lawyers have requested Mr Lake eliminate the fine, as Lay had not appealed the verdict or received a sentence by the time of his death.

When Skilling objected to the original amount he was fined, the prosecutors upped the amount he should pay to incorporate Lay’s share, a filing revealed Friday.

The US energy giant went bankrupt in 2001 with debts of $31.8bn (£18bn), leaving 4,000 people out of work.

Sentencing has been set for 23 October, and were Lay alive, he like Skilling would have faced a significant jail sentence.

Skilling, who was found guilty on 19 out of 28 counts, plans to appeal the decision.

Lay was found guilty on the six charges he faced.

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