Former Enron CEO released from prison after 13 years; moved to halfway house

File photo of former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling (centre) being escorted by federal marshals away from Houston Federal court, on Oct 23, 2006.
File photo of former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling (centre) being escorted by federal marshals away from Houston Federal court, on Oct 23, 2006.PHOTO: REUTERS

AUSTIN, TEXAS (REUTERS) - Jeffrey Skilling, the former chief executive officer of Enron who received a 24-year prison sentence for his role in the company's spectacular collapse, has been released from an Alabama prison camp and moved to a halfway house, records from the US Bureau of Prisons showed on Thursday (Aug 30).

Lawyers for Skilling were not immediately available for comment.

The US Bureau of Prisons records listed Skilling as being at a residential re-entry facility in Houston.

In May 2006, a jury convicted Skilling of 19 counts of conspiracy, securities fraud, insider trading and lying to auditors for his role in maintaining a facade of success as Enron's energy business crumbled.

In 2013, US District Judge Simeon Lake reduced his 24-year jail term to 14 years, accepting a deal struck between prosecutors and Skilling's lawyers to end years of appeals.

Under the deal, more than US$40 million of Skilling's fortune, which had been frozen since his conviction in 2006, was to be distributed to victims of Enron's collapse.

Houston-based Enron's 2001 collapse threw thousands out of work, sparked federal probes and prompted Congress to crack down on corporate accounting abuses.

Enron founder Kenneth Lay also was found guilty of multiple counts of conspiracy and fraud. He died of heart failure six weeks after the trial ended, prompting a federal judge to throw out the conviction.

Skilling had been serving his time in a minimum security "prison camp" in Montgomery, Alabama, according to a federal database. He was set for release in 2019.