Supreme Court Will Hear Appeal of Enron's Skilling


Three years after he was sentenced in one of the most notorious corporate scandals of all time, former Enron CEO Jeff Skilling will get a hearing before the Supreme Court.

Jeffrey Skilling

The high court Tuesday, without comment, agreed to hear Skilling's appeal of his 2006 conviction on two issues: Whether Skilling could be convicted of depriving Enron shareholders of his "honest services" even though he did not try to enrich himself, and whether the case should have been tried outside Enron's home town of Houston because of jury prejudice.

Skilling's lead attorney, Daniel Petrocelli called the decision "a game changer."

"We have been waiting for this for nearly three years," he told CNBC in a telephone interview. Petrocelli said he is looking forward to presenting the case, "and getting Jeff exonerated."

Skilling, who served as Enron CEO from February, 2001 until his abrupt resignation in August of that year, was convicted in 2006 on 19 criminal counts including conspiracy, fraud and insider trading. He is currently serving a 24 year prison sentence at a federal correctional institution in Colorado.

The high court is expected to hear oral arguments in the case by next Spring. It will be one of three cases this term that will help define "honest services" fraud. The others involve publishing magnate Conrad Black and former Alaska state legislator Bruce Weyrauch.