United States v. Jeffrey Skilling (Enron Corp.)

By the middle of the year 2000, the Enron corporation was a giant in the energy industry.  The stock price was a whopping $90.56 per share, Forbes magazine had rated it the most innovative company in the country for six consecutive years, and it had a giant market share in the energy field.

A lot of the credit for this was given to Jeffrey Skilling, a Harvard Business School graduate and consultant for McKinsey and Company who was hired by Enron in 1990.  By February 2001, Skilling had worked his way up to take the reins as CEO of the entire company.  But then he abruptly resigned less than six months later while the stock was taking a downward turn.  Shortly thereafter, the company filed for bankruptcy and Skilling found himself indicted for fraud.

In this episode, Paul gives a basic overview of what was happening at Enron which led to Skilling getting indicted and how the prosecutor was able to secure their chief witness against him.  He also explains why the order of witnesses is vitally important in a trial and the value of making a criminal case about the flesh and blood victims rather than focus on numbers and accounting.

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