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Breaking News from CNBC's Scott Cohn: Former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling May Leave Prison Early Under Possible Agreement

Thursday, 4 Apr 2013 | 9:23 AM ET

When: Thursday, April 4, 2013

Where: CNBC's "Squawk Box"

Following is breaking news from CNBC's Scott Cohn. Here is the link to Cohn's story on CNBC.com: http://www.cnbc.com/id/100615931. Additionally, here is a link to the embeddable video: http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000159029.

All references must be sourced to CNBC.

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COHN: JEFF SKILLING WAS SENTENCED IN 2006 TO 24 YEARS IN PRISON FOR HIS ROLE IN ENRON'S COLLAPSE, WELL NOW THERE IS A DEAL IN THE WORKS BETWEEN SKILLING'S ATTORNEYS AND THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT THAT COULD SHORTEN THAT SENTENCE WE DON'T KNOW YET BY HOW MUCH. THIS HAS BEEN QUIETLY GOING ON FOR A WHILE. SKILLING'S SENTENCE WAS OVERTURNED BY A FEDERAL APPEALS PANEL IN 2009 SAYING THAT IT WAS TOO HARSH AND THEN THE APPEALS PROCESS PLAYED OUT SOME MORE AND THE PARTIES BEGAN TALKING ABOUT WHAT THEY COULD DO. SKILLING WAS PLANNING ON FILING A MOTION, POTENTIALLY AS SOON AS NEXT MONTH, ALLEGING MISCONDUCT BY THE ELITE ENRON TASK FORCE THAT PROSECUTED THE CASE, THAT MOTION WOULD PRESUMABLY GO AWAY UNDER THIS DEAL. AND AGAIN, WE DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH THE SENTENCE WOULD BE SHORTENED. WE FOUND OUT ABOUT THIS OFFICIALLY BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT QUIETLY TODAY ISSUED THE REQUIRED NOTICE TO THE VICTIMS THAT AN AGREEMENT IS BEING DISCUSSED. JUDGE SIM LAKE, WHO PRESIDED OVER THE TRAIL IN 2006, WOULD HAVE TO APPROVE THIS. THERE MAY BE SOME INDICATION, JUST BY THE FACT THAT THIS ANNOUNCEMENT HAS BEEN ISSUED, THAT THE JUDGE HAS GIVEN AT LEAST SOME INDICATION THAT HE MIGHT GO ALONG WITH THE DEAL. HE HELD A PRIVATE CONFERENCE CALL WITH THE ATTORNEYS IN HIS CHAMBERS IN HOUSTON LAST MONTH. AGAIN, ALL OF THIS STILL IN A SENSITIVE STAGE AND JUST THE SMALLEST DETAIL LEAKING OUT HERE BUT WE CAN REPORT THAT A DEAL IS UNDER DISCUSSION THAT WOULD SHORTEN JEFF SKILLING'S SENTENCE POTENTIALLY CONSIDERABLY.


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