A FEDERAL judge late on Monday sentenced former Enron Corp CEO Jeffrey Skilling to 24 years and four months in prison for his role in an accounting fraud that brought down the company. Skilling was convicted in May on 19 counts of fraud, conspiracy and insider trading at the energy-trading firm.
US District Court Judge Sim Lake, who gave Skilling the maximum possible sentence for the charges, observed that "as the many victims have testified, his crimes have imposed on hundreds if not thousands a life sentence of poverty".
Enron oversaw and managed the Dabhol Power Company in Maharashtra before pulling out of the project.
Enron's collapse in December 2001, three months after the 9/11 terrorist strikes, ushered in a wave of prosecutions against corruption at the highest levels of American business.
Last year, former WorldCom chief Bernard J. Ebbers was sentenced to 25 years in prison for a $11 billion fraud that led to the company's bankruptcy. He is currently out on bail, and has appealed against the verdict.