You all remember Enron. 'Member? You 'member! Anyway, our good friends at the Supreme Court of the United States have decided to grant certiorari (legal term for agreeing to hear the case) for Jeff Skilling's appeal. When all the smoke cleared, Skilling, the former CEO of Enron, was one of the main cats responsible for cooking the books and defrauding the American people out of Billions (with a "B") of dollars. When Enron fell, it was the largest bankruptcy in American history until Lehman Brothers last year. Yeah, it was a pretty big deal. Your boy Skilling was the Madoff of his time; he was sentenced to 24 years in federal prison on 19 counts of federal crimes including fraud, securities fraud, insider trading (aka: Martha Stewart), and many more.
As it turns out, the Circuit Courts (the 13 federal courts of appeal) have what the legal profession calls a "circuit split" over one of the many legal issues that sent Skilling to jail, the federal "honest services" fraud statute. This the same statue that took down Rod Blagojevich. In a nutshell, it says that it is illegal to deprive the general public of "the intangible right to honest services." Sounds pretty vague right? Well that's exactly why there is a circuit split on what the statute is suppose to mean. And like clockwork, whenever there is a circuit split on an issue of federal law, the Supreme Court has to do its duty and set the record straight for everybody.
Meanwhile, jokers like Skilling who have a proven knack at exploiting opportunity, will use the circuit split on this issue to say that he was wrongfully convicted by a vague statute. This cat just never stops hustlin' right?
Too bad the most he's going to get out of a successful appeal here at the Supreme Court level is a new trial on the issue of the "honest services" fraud only; that would be only 1 down with 18 more to go. But I'm sure a devious mind like Skilling can cook up a way for those other 18 right?
The real question is how will the Supreme Court rule?
If I was a gambling man, I'd say Chief Justice John "Prosecutors Up, Convicts Down" Roberts and his conservative block actually won't have too much mercy for your boy Skilling here seeing as how he allowed himself to become a convict and all. Tough luck, son. Better luck next time.