NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- U.S. prosecutors appealed to a court to keep ex-Enron Corp. Chief Executive Jeff Skilling in jail after the court questioned his conspiracy conviction.
Prosecutors said the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans' reasoning that invalidated one of the government's legal theories did not apply to Skilling, convicted last year on federal felony fraud, conspiracy and insider-trading charges relating to the Houston energy-trading company's financial collapse.
The court said employees needed to steal money or engage in otherwise blatantly corrupt behavior to be guilty of conspiracy, The Washington Post reported.
Skilling's lawyers argued the court should throw out all 19 of Skilling's criminal convictions and set a new trial or reduce his sentence, the newspaper said. But the government argued Tuesday Skilling was "no mere employee carrying out perceived goals imposed from above," but rather a corporate leader who devised the plan to hide Enron's losses and manufacture phony revenue.
"Skilling repeatedly violated the law by ... making false and fraudulent representations to Enron's shareholders and the investing public, approving improper earnings manipulation and participating in off-the-books side deals that were concealed from Enron's auditors," Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Wilson wrote.
U.S. District Judge Simeon Lake has not indicated a timetable for a response.
Sklling is serving a 24-year, four-month prison sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Waseca, Minn.