Ex-Enron CEO Skilling Raises Funds for Energy Marketplace

Ex-Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling is reportedly raising funds to launch a digital marketplace catering to professional oil and gas investors.
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Former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling, who spent 12 years in prison for his role in the Enron scandal, is reportedly raising funds to launch a digital marketplace catering to professional oil and gas investors.

The venture, Veld LLC, seeks to profit by charging a fee for marketing stakes in operating oil and gas wells, Reuters reported. It will offer analytical data to investors interested in the well stakes.

Investors can acquire holdings in between one and 10 wells, which the presentation described as “pods,” and will be sold to the investors as high-yield investments, Reuters said, citing people familiar with the business pitch.

Skilling has been working nearly two years on the project, which was first incorporated by his wife in Texas in late 2018 and merged with a Delaware company with the same name the following year. 

The business is expected to be up and running by year-end.

At least one investor who listened to his presentation was reluctant to invest in the venture because of his Enron past, Reuters reported.

Enron, which had more than $63 billion in assets, declared bankruptcy in December 2001 in what was then the largest corporate collapse in U.S. history. Roughly 4,000 Enron employees lost their jobs following its collapse. 

In 2006, Skilling was convicted of 12 counts of securities fraud, five counts of making false statements to auditors, one count of insider trading and one count of conspiracy in the financial fraud that ended in the Houston company's bankruptcy.

He resigned as CEO of Enron in 2001, months before it filed for bankruptcy.

Skilling was sentenced to 24 years in prison and fined $45 million, the harshest sentence of any former Enron executive. Skilling's sentence was later reduced to 14 years.

Twenty-one people, including Skilling, were convicted in the scandal, and accounting firm Arthur Andersen was forced out of business after it was found guilty of obstruction of justice.