The man sentenced to 24 years in prison for masterminding one of the largest corporate bankruptcies in American history may get an earlier release from prison.
Jeffrey Skilling was CEO of Enron, the energy company that collapsed in 2001 after accounting irregularities eventually unveiled a massive fraud.
Skilling was convicted in 2006 and sentenced to 24 years in jail for his role in the collapse. Kenneth Lay, who founded the company and was the chair at the time and was also found guilty, died in 2006 before receiving what would have likely been a lengthy jail term.
Skilling has long maintained his innocence and has pursued many legal avenues to have his sentence reversed and his time behind bars cut short.
A cryptic release issued by the U.S. Department of Justice Wednesday suggests officials are close to a deal that could see that happen, six years after his incarceration in the Englewood correctional institute in Littleton, Colo.
According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Skilling is currently supposed to be released from prison on February 21, 2028
"The Department of Justice is considering entering into a sentencing agreement with the defendant in this matter," the release says.
"Such a sentencing agreement could restrict the parties and the Court from recommending, arguing for, or imposing certain sentences or conditions of confinement. It could also restrict the parties from challenging certain issues on appeal, including the sentence ultimately imposed by the Court at a future sentencing hearing."
Subsequent court rulings have found that Skilling's original sentence was too harsh and ordered him to be resentenced, even as they upheld his overall guilt in the matter. The department's release Wednesday suggests that some sort of agreement between Skilling's legal team and prosecutors has been reached.
The release offers no details of what the new sentence could be.