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'Enron' sentencing.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Bortaz, Oct 26, 2006.

  1. Bortaz

    Bortaz Banned

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    'Enron' sentencing.

    Skilling was sentenced for his part in the Enron scandal. So, who got off easier, him, or Lay?

     
  2. DurfBarian

    DurfBarian IncGamers Member

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    Lay, because the charges against him have been dropped following his death so no money can be taken from his obscenely inflated estate.

    Here's to Skilling dying of old age in prison.
     
  3. Dondrei

    Dondrei IncGamers Member

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    How can you compare them? Lay died and is feeling nothing either good or bad.
     
  4. ADSL

    ADSL IncGamers Member

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    I didnt bother to read the entire quote, but is he expected to serve all 24 years?
    If so i really like your laws.
    The other day we had a guy sentenced to 8 years in prison for stabbing someone to death. He got 8 years because he was charged with violence with death as a result, if he had been charged with murder first degree the max sentence anyone can get in Denmark is 16 years. more likely he will get 10-12 years.
     
  5. AeroJonesy

    AeroJonesy IncGamers Member

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    Lay's criminal charges were dismissed. The civil claims can still proceed against his estate. That's where all the money is anyway, especially in punitive damages.



     
  6. ModeratelyConfused

    ModeratelyConfused Banned

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    I'm really doubting he'll serve all 24 years. I mean, why should he? We let murderers out early all the time.
     
  7. Dondrei

    Dondrei IncGamers Member

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    I'd make some sort of mordacious comment about how short the sentence for rape is by comparison, but that's kind of silly really given that a rape sentence is shorter than just about anything. I wouldn't be surprised if people have been put away longer for jaywalking.
     
  8. Gertlex

    Gertlex Banned

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    I'd diss lawyers, but I'd be a hypocrite... Grandpa was a better lawyer than these guys though:smiley:
     
  9. Dutchman

    Dutchman IncGamers Member

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    With no conviction against lay on the books it will be much more difficult for civil suits to succeed against his estate. Lay dying was the best thing that could happen to his family from a financial perspective.

    Okay, time to voice what will undoubtedly be an unpopular opinion. 24 years for a financial crime is just plain absurd. This sentence is nothing more than vindictiveness. The man did not even steal, he either a) was grossly incompetent or b ) hid stuff to try and allow Enron to dig out of a serious hole. His worst crime was continuing to recieve his own compensation during this whole period. This makes him an asshole, not a criminal.

    You want to punish someone for a financial crime? Make the punishment financial. Strip ever last penny the man has and leave him broke. Let him flip burgers or beg from his friends. That would be an appropriate punishment. Jail time is absurd, let alone 24 years. The message here is that screwing around as a top executive in a large company is worse than killing someone? Outside of premeditated murder what is an average sentence for murder or manslaughter, 15 years? This guy cost people money, either as a side effect of trying to salvage a bad situation or through neglect, and that is somehow worse than ending the life of a human being? This is somehow worse than one of these people who intentionally bilks investors, stealing from little old ladies, etc, etc, who routinely get 3 years, if any jail at all. 24 years? It makes bitter people feel all warm and fuzzy, at leasy to my logic, it makes no sense whatsoever.

    Yes, he is responsible to some degree, we don't know how much in truth, for people losing a lot of money, but you know who else is responsbile? The investors themselves. Whether employees, outsiders, doesn't matter.

    Do any research at all on investing and one 4 letter word will pop up pretty frequently; RISK. What is universally accepted as the riskiest investment? Securities, in other words stock. I've read the stories about employees who had their entire retirement fund in company stock, and regard them as unlucky fools. Any 63 year old who has even 20% of his portfolio in equity is foolish, no matter how much his employer is making it extra lucrative to do so. 100% in company stock, thats plain greed.

    Take a look at the pension or investment paperwork your employer gave you along with your pension documentation and I gaurantee you it will include a lesson on risk. It will talk about which investments are safer and how someone should diversify their portfolio to make sure they aren't destroyed if the worst happens. Anyone who "lost everything" chose to ignore this #1 rule of investing because the money being made on the stock side of things was so high at the time. They got greedy, plain and simple, and they are as responsible for thier misfortune as any Enron executive. They did not contribute to the collapse, but they allowed greed to set themselves up to be ruined. Had they followed even the basic tenets of investing, they would either still be financially viable, even if hurt to some degree, or they would young enough to recover. 100% of your retirement plan in company stock? You better be under 30 or you are an idiot, a greedy idiot.

    It isn't that I don't feel bad for people who lost money, I genuinely do, but the concept that the "victims" are all innocent and the executives are the devil, worthy of punishments equal to or greater than society's murderers, rapists, and violent criminals is just plain dumb. That is anger talking, not logic. What many people fail to understand is that while the accounting being done at Enron was silly, it was perfectly legal. 24 years for being unethical? Better lock up 80% of this continents population. How's 24 years sound?

    /rant

    Dutch
     
  10. Talga Vasternich

    Talga Vasternich IncGamers Member

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    I agree that 24 years is too high, but he ruined a whole lot of lives and careers.

    Funding the Enron pension fund with 100% Enron stock is more than "unethical", it's negligent... and it is criminal.
    Lying about the prospects of the company stock... saying it is strong when you know for a fact that it's crumbling (and you are selling as fast as you can) is illegal. RISK, as you put it, is one thing... this is completely different. Not allowing employees to sell Enron stock from the company-run 401k plan when they had a good idea it was going down and would never recover is also illegal.
    That people got greedy is one thing (one that I agree with), but officers of any company have a duty to the shareholders. This duty was knowingly and willingly tossed aside by Enron executives for their personal gain (also illegal).
    Don't forget the illegal practice of selling energy to satellite companies (fictional companies "owned" by Enron execs., mind you) and selling it back to inflate sales figures.
    These are just off the top of my head, and there are a lot more illegal/criminal activities that went on in the Enron collapse. Combine all these illegal activities, charge them in criminal court with these and see what it adds up to, in terms of years that they could possibly be in prison and you'll see that 24 years (while I agree is excessive) is just a drop in the bucket compared to what they were facing.

    /anti-rant
     
  11. Dutchman

    Dutchman IncGamers Member

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    I freely admit I know more about Lay's situation than Skilling's. If Skilling was offloading his stock thats news to me, and reeks quite a bit. Lay I know was actually buying stock, and lost tens of millions more as a result of those purchases. Doesn't strike me as someone who knew the end was near.

    All of this stuff is, sad to say, pretty standard business. Had they hidden their off BS woes, then been successful in fixing the problem, and it had come out years later what had happened, investors would have hailed them as gods for protecting the stock value. This all just stinks to high heaven of self interest and revenge, rather than justice, which is why it bothers me.

    Dutch
     
  12. AeroJonesy

    AeroJonesy IncGamers Member

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    I wholeheartedly disagree. Maybe I'm just optimistic about the business world, but I don't think the actions taken by Enron were "standard business."



     
  13. Dutchman

    Dutchman IncGamers Member

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    To clarify, I meant that manipulating results to keep investors happy is standard business. The extent to which Enron took it is unusual, if not particularly suprising. There are those however, who still insist that had Enron been left alone, they would have sorted themselves out and remained viable, the media attention surrounding the situation is what killed them, not the situation itself. I'm not sure I agree, but I'm sure it didn't help.

    Dutch



     
  14. Sir EvilFreeSmeg

    Sir EvilFreeSmeg Banned

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    Lay is Lucifer's ***** right now. Skilling has to wait for it. Skilling has the worst punishment. But at least Bubba will get him all ready for Lucifer.
     
  15. AeroJonesy

    AeroJonesy IncGamers Member

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    They finished digging their grave long before it went public. Quarter billion dollar unsecured loans, fake companies to hide assets, it all amounted to trouble.

    I don't know that much about the case, but I think what ended up sinking Enron was an unsecured $240 billion dollar loan to one of its fake subsidiaries that required the payment to the bank of Enron stock should the price drop below a certain level.



     
  16. Dutchman

    Dutchman IncGamers Member

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    Just want to be perfectly clear, at the time, and possibly even today (I don't know), off balance sheet financing was perfectly acceptable with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. They were not technically doing anything wrong by having tons of debt that didn't show in their financial statements.

    Hell, their accounting firm was showing them how to set this stuff up.

    Dutch



     
  17. AeroJonesy

    AeroJonesy IncGamers Member

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    There's a difference between not showing your debt and fraudulently certifying that you have independent investment when you really don't.



     
  18. Dondrei

    Dondrei IncGamers Member

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    I agree, in fact I tend to think that any jail time for white collar crime is a bit silly. And crimes with a high profile or political context get disproportionately high penalties attached - often the crimes you never hear about are the most sickening, and they get much less because the justice system has limited funds and has to prioritise.

    I don't know about your arguments about risk however. I'm no expert on this case but if there was genuine fraud then that of course is a big deal. I do agree with you about the commonality of "creative accounting". My wife was briefly studying to be an accountant and the very first lesson she got was that there are always lots of different ways to present the state of the accounts, and it's a large part of the accountant's job to tell the right people the right things. A dangerous line to walk.

    And you're also quite correct about shareholders; when it works, the CEOs are gods. There can be something of a culture of unaccountability because of this, and also because the lines are not clear; a little bit of skulduggery is practically mandatory. It's a big problem and Enron is an example of what can happen if everyone is less than scrupulous.

    This is possibly my opinion also, on the other hand it has often been pointed out to me that making a rich person broke is no easy task, hell look at all those rich crooks who declare bankruptcy and then get around in brand new limos and thousand-dollar suits. There are just way too many loopholes to hide money in.



     
  19. Bortaz

    Bortaz Banned

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    I believe he was charged with a federal crime. There is no parole for federal crimes. If I'm right about this, he'll serve the entire 24 years.
     
  20. llad12

    llad12 IncGamers Member

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    Before heading off to prison, Skilling and all the other crooks at Enron should be put into stocks at a public square for a day and all the people they ripped off should have the chance to throw rotten tomatoes at them.

    It won't bring back their money, but they might feel better ... momentarily. :laugh:
     

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