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Federal appeals court denies ex-Enron execs appeal against remaining charges

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit [official website] Tuesday rejected an appeal by three former Enron Broadband Services [JURIST news archive] executives seeking the dismissal of remaining charges after a jury failed to reach a verdict on all counts in their 2005 fraud trial. Former VP Scott Yeager, former senior VP Rex Shelby, and former CEO Joseph Hirko [Houston Chronicle profiles] were initially indicted [PDF text] by federal prosecutors on 164 criminal counts for allegedly overstating the value of the broadband division's software and network to inflate the value of Enron's stock. They were acquitted [JURIST report] on various charges in 2005, but the jury failed to reach a verdict on all counts, and prosecutors later re-indicted [JURIST report] the defendants. Defense lawyers argued [JURIST report] that there is no basis for the remaining charges or for a retrial, but the Fifth Circuit ruled that a jury could find the men guilty of other charges despite their acquittals.

Yeager was acquitted of conspiracy, wire fraud, and security fraud, while Shelby and Hirko were acquitted of some insider trading and money laundering charges. Federal prosecutors may seek to pursue the remaining insider trading and money laundering charges against Yeager, and, in a separate case, conspiracy, wire fraud, and security fraud charges against Shelby and Hirko. The Houston Chronicle has more.

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