White-Collar Crime

Who Could Gain from a High-Court Ruling


The cases of Enron and Hollinger executives were sent back to lower courts on June 24 when the U.S. Supreme Court narrowed a federal law that prohibits depriving another person of the "right to honest services." The justices ruled that it should apply only when bribery or kickbacks are involved. Now attorneys can argue that convictions should be thrown out, either because juries relied on too-broad interpretations of the provision or because references to it tainted jury deliberations on other charges. Here is how the ruling might affect some prosecutions.

Bernard Ebbers

The ex-WorldCom CEO's case won't be affected, because the honest services law played no role in his conviction. Sentence: 25 years in 2005

Conrad Black

The former Hollinger International chief can now challenge at least part of his conviction and sentence. Sentence: 6.5 years in 2007

Dennis Kozlowski

The former Tyco International CEO was convicted on New York State fraud charges; his fate is unchanged. Sentence: Up to 25 years in 2005

Richard Scrushy

The ex-HealthSouth CEO's corruption conviction will be reviewed in light of the June 24 ruling. Sentence: Almost 7 years in 2007

Timothy Rigas

Convicted on other charges, the ex-CFO of Adelphia won't be affected. Sentence: 20 years in 2004 (reduced to 17 in 2007)

Jeffrey Skilling

The former Enron CEO now may have grounds to seek a reversal of his conviction and sentence. Sentence: 24 years in 2006

Cwinter
Winter is a reporter for Bloomberg Businessweek in New York.

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