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Former Enron Broadband CEO sentenced to 16 months for wire fraud

[JURIST] Former Enron Broadband Services (EBS) [JURIST news archive] CEO Joe Hirko was sentenced [DOJ press release] Monday to 16 months in prison for misrepresenting to investors the capabilities of Enron's broadband service. Hirko pleaded guilty last October to one count of wire fraud for issuing a press release falsely claiming that EBS had integrated a new feature into its broadband service. As part of the plea agreement, the government recommended Hirko receive a prison sentence of between 12 and 16 months. In addition to the prison sentence, Judge Vanessa Gilmore of the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas [official website] ordered [Houston Chronicle report] Hirko to pay $8.7 million in restitution. It is not yet known when Hirko will begin serving his sentence.

Hirko pleaded guilty weeks before he was scheduled to be tried for a second time near the end of last year. In May 2008, Gilmore ordered [JURIST report] Hirko and two other EBS executives to be retried after the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit [official website] refused to dismiss charges [JURIST report] against the men. The executives were found not guilty of several charges in 2005, but the jury was deadlocked on some issues and the three were later re-indicted [JURIST reports].

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