Skilling Pays Lawyers $23 Million Before Assets Frozen

High-profile lawyers don’t come cheap, especially when you are former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling, who faces criminal and civil cases that could drag on for years.

Jeffrey SkillingCourt documents show that Skilling paid his Houston attorneys $23 million toward his defense before his assets worth $55 million were frozen by the government, the Associated Press reported. Among the assets frozen were Skilling’s homes.

"It sounds like a lot at first. But based on the number of cases Mr. Skilling is going to have to fight it may be reasonable," Houston defense attorney Kent Schaffer told the AP. "Just think about the millions of documents. Somebody has to read them, and nobody does that for fun."

Skilling, 50, faces 35 felony counts of conspiracy to commit fraud, securities fraud, wire fraud, making false statements to auditors and insider trading, the AP reported, adding he could also face more than 100 conglomerated civil cases brought by those who lost jobs and savings in the Enron collapse. He has also been sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission and is under investigation by Congress and the examiner working on the company’s bankruptcy case.

Skilling’s attorneys include high-profile California attorney Daniel Petrocelli, who won a civil trial against O.J. Simpson, brought by the family of Ron Goldman, and three other attorneys from the firm of O'Melveny & Myers. Also on the team is Houston attorney Ron Woods, who is a former U.S. Attorney in Houston, a former FBI agent and defended Terry Nichols in the Oklahoma City bombing case, the AP reported.

On Friday, a judge will determine whether Skilling needs access to some of his funds to pay basic living expenses. Court filings show that Skilling earns about $3 million a year from his investments, income that is also frozen by the government. The $23 million payment to lawyers was discovered in filings in the case about whether Skilling’s assets will remain frozen.

You may like these other stories...

Hertz and Icahn make peaceThere won’t be any nasty, protracted proxy battle between Hertz Global Holdings and activist investor Carl Icahn. The rental car chain agreed last Thursday to give Icahn – who has...
For bitcoin users, the taxman cometh. And you best know how to calculate taxes owed on what the IRS calls convertible virtual currency.In March 2014, the IRS issued Notice 2014-21, which declares virtual currency will be...
Majority of House of Representatives urges leadership to preserve cash method of accounting for tax purposesA bipartisan majority of the House of Representatives – 233 members – has signed a letter urging House...

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Sep 18
In this course, Amber Setter will shine the light on different types of leadership behavior- an integral part of everyone's career.
Sep 24
In this jam-packed presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA will give you a crash-course in creating spreadsheet-based dashboards. A dashboard condenses large amounts of data into a compact space, yet enables the end user to easily drill down into details when warranted.
Sep 30
This webcast will include discussions of important issues in SSARS No. 19 and the current status of proposed changes by the Accounting and Review Services Committee in these statements.
Oct 23
Amber Setter will show the value of leadership assessments as tools for individual and organizational leadership development initiatives.