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Ex-Enron CEO wants conviction overturned after appeals court ruling

[JURIST] Former Enron [corporate website; JURIST news archive] CEO Jeffrey Skilling [Houston Chronicle profile] has asked a federal judge to overturn his conviction, citing a recent federal appeals court ruling overturning the convictions [JURIST report] of four former Merrill Lynch executives found guilty in connection with an Enron Nigerian barge scam. Skilling was convicted [JURIST report] in May of 19 counts of insider trading, securities fraud, and conspiracy and is scheduled to be sentenced [JURIST report] later this month.

In August, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled [PDF text] that the "government's theory of fraud relating to the deprivation of honest services ... is flawed" and overturned the Merrill Lynch convictions. In a motion filed Tuesday, Skilling argued his conviction should be overturned because the jury may have relied on a similar theory. The US Justice Department has asked the Fifth Circuit to reconsider the Merrill Lynch decision en banc and reinstate the convictions. Bloomberg News has more.

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