Ex-Enron CEO Skilling charged

Feb. 19, 2004 at 8:22 PM
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HOUSTON, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Former Enron chief executive Jeffery Skilling pled innocent Thursday to charges connected with the 2001 collapse of the Enron Corp.

Skilling's 42-count indictment includes 36 counts of wire and securities fraud, as well as insider trading and lying.

Prosecutor Samuel Buell indicated that Skilling could get 325 years in prison and pay $80 million in fines if convicted, Business Week reported.

Skilling paid $5 million in bail and surrendered his passport.

Skilling's lawyer Daniel Petrocelli pointed out during a news conference after the hearing that his client had denied any role in the Enron mess during a lie detector test, and passed the test with "flying colors."

He is so far the highest-profile and highest-ranked executive charged after the corporate scandal.

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