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The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected without comment former Enron Corp. CEO Jeffrey Skilling's appeal to overturn his 19 convictions for fraud. Two years ago the high court ruled that federal prosecutors had used an improper legal theory to convict Skilling in 2006, saying Skilling couldn't be convicted under a federal statute outlawing fraudulent schemes to withhold "honest services" (see NGI, June 28, 2010). Although the Supreme Court invalidated the prosecution's honest services theory, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans last year found the federal government's evidence of conspiracy sufficient to uphold his convictions (see NGI, April 11, 2011). The Fifth Circuit said the verdict would have been the same because there was "overwhelming evidence that Skilling conspired to commit securities fraud and thus we conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that the verdict would have been the same absent the alternative-theory error."

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