WSJ: Ex-Enron CEO Meets with Crypto Experts for New Venture Following Prison Release
Jeffrey Skilling, the previous Enron CEO who served 12 years in prison after a 19 count conviction for his part in the company's infamous collapse– is supposedly meeting with crypto industry professionals ahead of his brand-new business venture. The claim was made in a report from the Wall Street Journal on March 22.
Skilling was released from federal custody on Feb. 21, having served 12 years out of a 24 year sentence. He stepped down as CEO of energy firm Enron in August 2001, a few months ahead of the firm's personal bankruptcy filing. Apprehended in 2004, alongside Enron founder Ken Lay, Skilling was sentenced in May 2006 on 19 counts of securities scams, conspiracy, insider trading, and tricking auditors.
The WSJ reports that Skilling, recently out of prison, is now seeking partners for a new endeavor– which, like Enron, will be connected with the energy finance sector. While information remains scant, the WSJ's sources have characterized the project as a digital platform that would connect investors to oil and gas projects.
2 of these confidential sources have supposedly declared that Skilling has been meeting cryptocurrency, blockchain, and software development experts in connection with the project. Nevertheless, these claims have been refuted by different– similarly confidential– sources for a CNBC report on the story, released on March 23.
CNBC, having actually uncovered likewise sparse information on the nature of the endeavor, described it as an early-stage project for a software program targeted at oil and gas investors. Both the WSJ and CNBC report that while the project is yet to secure financial backing, a number of early advisors have been asked to sign non-disclosure agreements, and a minimum of one previous coworker– the erstwhile Enron head of energy services, Lou L. Pai– has pledged to invest in the undertaking.
As the WSJ notes, under the terms of a separate United States Securities and Exchange Commission judgment, Skilling is completely prohibited from serving as an officer or director of an openly held business.
Both the WSJ and CNBC report that the concept for the brand-new project was hatched while Skilling was still an inmate at a correctional facility in Alabama, with WSJ keeping in mind that he “was already taking meetings on the project while serving six months at a Texas halfway house before he fully regained his freedom,” and CNBC claiming he “apparently worried for the rest of his sentence that someone else would come up with the idea before he got out.”
Several blockchain projects for the energy financing sector precede Skilling's idea– such as the blockchain-powered platform Vakt for energy commodity trading, which continues to onboard significant market players consisting of BP, Shell and Total.