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Enron's Skilling settles 17-year-old suit over company collapse

Former Enron Chief Executive Jeffrey Skilling settled a 17-year-old lawsuit less than two months being released from a 12-year prison sentence. The lawsuit claimed that Skilling helped defraud a Canadian investment firm.

Photo: /Ritzau/Scanpix/AP/Melissa Phillip

Less than two months after leaving prison, former Enron Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Skilling settled a 17-year-old lawsuit claiming he helped defraud a Canadian investment firm with the promotion of the defunct energy company’s securities as it headed toward collapse.

SilverCreek Management Inc., a Toronto-based investment firm that bought Enron-issued bonds in October 2001, sued in Manhattan federal court, accusing the company’s accountants, banks, directors, law firms and underwriters of helping facilitate the oil trader’s demise.

SilverCreek had earlier reached settlements with all defendants except Skilling and former Enron Chief Accounting Officer Richard Causey. In a letter last month, it said it had an agreement-in-principle with Causey. And on Friday, SilverCreek and Skilling told U.S. District Judge J. Paul Oetken that they also reached a settlement-in-principle. The terms weren’t disclosed.

Jeffrey A. Barker, an attorney representing Skilling in the suit, declined to comment on the settlement.

Skilling, 65, was released from federal custody on Feb. 21 after serving more than 12 years for fraud, insider trading and conspiracy. He was one of the lead architects of the rise of Enron, which was found to have manipulated the California electricity market in the early 2000s, sending power prices surging to record levels and plunging hundreds of thousands into darkness.

The case is SilverCreek Management Inc. v. Citigroup Inc., 02-cv-8881, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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