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I think story of the day the Supreme Court saying that prosecutors incorrectly used.
A federal fraud law in two separate cases involving nature Wall Street executive -- former newspaper mogul Conrad black and former Enron CEO Jeff Skilling.
Could be one step closer to freedom our Liz McDonald joining us with some breaking news an Israeli.
Got even more executives could be affected by this ruling since 2000 -- and thirteen executive has been charged under the statute 25 CEOs indicted.
This could affect Andy fastow who was -- former chief financial officer.
For Enron he is in -- Richard causing the former chief accountant for Enron also -- John Rigas and adelphia also executives that.
Rite -- -- well and -- so what we're talking about here.
Is a very basically a weak case -- to the Supreme Court.
Brought against Jeff Skilling and now -- Conrad Black could see his that sentence.
Vacated as well and if the basically that skilling case is being returned back to an appellate court.
It Supreme Court said there were no grounds to charge him and under what's called the honest.
Services fraud basically that statute says the company had a right Enron had a right to his.
Intangible honest services Jeffrey Skilling said he never personally still effectively stole anything from the company.
That basically Enron his -- that and run helped and runs you know.
And thrive and grow before it collapsed that that they'll look at real hair splitting.
Decision he essentially is saying he may move to save the company not to personally profit from it even though Enron turned out to do you -- come.
Then Liz how let's go back to recast some adelphia as a adelphia -- -- OK okay the cable company right out of Pennsylvania it's right up.
They had originally started that company then -- made it public but they still ran up like it was their piggy bank and you're spending thousands and thousands of shareholder dollars.
To buy fancy pants Chris another thing for their apartments so where does that clause -- they -- to bear -- That's right outside there's a lot of hair splitting in this decision and I'm looking forward to reading it I will tell you that the night of the famous Nigerian barge case and run Merrill Lynch executives charged -- -- from there that sham transaction and helped boost and runs revenues.
I'm at a court also overturn that decision saying there was no -- -- That case and to be honest services.
Statute so it up.
Elena Kagan who's now Supreme Court that the nominee had as solicitor general had argued this Enron case in support of bring it under the statute.
She loses here Dan Petrocelli who is.
Feelings attorney who also successfully argued the OJ Simpson.
Civil case where he won that case against OJ -- on behalf of Fred Goldman he wins here big time stealing has paid -- forty million dollars.
But the bottom line here is gang Jeff Skilling made a 132 million dollars in the year that Enron collapse after collapse -- after -- attitude -- after he quit.
The month after he cashed out sixteen million dollars in shares that's why I say this is the hairsplitting decision to say he did not personally profit from the moves that he made at the company.
And it sounds like it did -- Thank you -- stay with us for more on the Supreme Court we are pleased to have with us attorney mark Lanier who is also a personal friend.
Of Jeff Skilling welcome men and of course mark your -- for getting a lot of money for victims of the Vioxx the Merck Vioxx case.
But let's talk specifically about this one is this a day where skilling -- high fighting people in the -- in prison Andy fastow these guys are they happy.
No I wouldn't think they are -- and I don't know Jeff extremely well but but I know Jeff and and I'm sure that he's trying to figure out what this means for him remember we've got a 114.
Page opinion set of opinions that came out of court today.
That legal scholars will be -- thing for a long time to figure out.
Ultimately for -- it since this case back to the fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
For them to figure out what are viable actions and what aren't and what his new sentencing should be all right well he was sentenced to 24.
Years in prison 35 separate counts.
This would not get him off the hook for all of those counts correct I mean he's still going to be spending time in jail.
Even if he's off on this trip I think you're right and and exactly how much time it shakes off I'm sure his lawyers are desperately trying to figure out.
They'll be arguing to the fifth circuit that this should throw out other actions in front of the fifth circuit.
They're very fraud is fraud and she's also charged insider trading a bunch of -- of exactly some of those we'll stick with some may not.
And it could significantly reduce his sentence and recognize he's already serving time.
-- and is approaching his sixties this is good news.
It marked as this -- -- list mentions the case for a whole bunch of other corporate fraud and similar type of situation cases such as the -- -- Conrad black and the other name.
Absolutely not just in that arena but also in the arena of politics and political figures have also been charged under -- -- -- -- -- the names there Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
The former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich former Illinois governor George Ryan duke Cunningham represented.
Bob -- and here in New York State former senate majority leader Joseph Bruno have all been indicted under this -- Mark does this change anything about the public's image Enron itself I mean we know the charges against.
Against chilling skilling and the others but Enron was it's still a company that was up to no good I was up to no good I mean that I think everybody knows Enron was a farce of a company it was being run absolutely into the ground and in bad ways to the profit of people.
It's just you gotta be careful which -- -- go after we have anything in Texas pigs get fat hogs get slaughter.
And the -- we're running at that -- -- that the prosecutors -- went for the overkill.
They had a very strict judge sim lake who is a law and order judge they went for the -- -- trying get the maximum sentence they could and they got it but they -- His lawyers though obviously have have found tiny little.
In the hole which could then turn into a gigantic hole in the -- this could be the Grand Canyon for a lot of indictments that have occurred and that are looking to occur right now.
And where does it go from here because we saw the supremes kick it back.
If the the lower court sides with skilling on this could then somebody kick it back up to the supremes or is that it for the supreme.
I think the supremes will probably revisit this case again I don't see how the lower court try to ride Kagan is on the Supreme Court would she have to recuse she's only -- super -- he would recuse.
I don't see how the fifth circuit can write an opinion that the fifth -- I mean that the US supreme court's not gonna at least be asked to look at again.
That's is that going to be a feeding frenzy for the lawyers of this this major list that you brought to us -- -- movie and I'll tell you something Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia has already frowned on the use of this statute and corporate cases he said it can leave -- -- headline grabbing and prosecutorial.
Abuses because it's usually used for -- and bribery bribery cases.
And public corruption.
Mark Lanier Elizabeth MacDonald great stuff thank you for covering the -- story good to have you here thank you how long.
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