Judge denies Skilling bail request

Campbell's sales stayed roughly flat in the quarter at $152 million.
Campbell's sales stayed roughly flat in the quarter at $152 million. (Mel Evans)
Saturday, September 4, 2010

Former Enron chief executive Jeffrey K. Skilling was denied a request to be released from prison on bail while he appeals his 2006 fraud conviction. The U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans on Friday turned aside Skilling's request in a one-sentence ruling that did not provide an explanation for the decision.

Skilling, 54, was convicted by a federal jury in Houston of leading what prosecutors said was a widespread accounting fraud that hid Enron's true financial condition from investors. He is serving a 24-year sentence in federal prison.

Skilling has asked that his convictions be reversed and that he be retried by a jury that isn't allowed to consider "honest services" fraud in weighing his guilt or innocence.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Skilling's favor, saying he was prosecuted under a law regarding honest-services fraud that doesn't apply to his case. The justices said the law, which covers fraud schemes to "deprive another of the intangible right to honest services," could be constitutionally applied only to cases involving bribery or kickbacks.

Skilling's lawyer, Daniel Petrocelli, did not return a call seeking comment.

- Bloomberg News

63% Campbell Soup quarterly profit jumps

Campbell Soup said Friday that its fiscal fourth-quarter profit surged 63 percent, to $113 million from $69 million a year earlier, helped by cost-cutting and strong drink sales. Excluding one-time items from 2009's results, the increase was 7 percent. For the full year, Campbell reported earnings of $844 million, up from $736 million a year ago. The results topped most Wall Street expectations, but Campbell's outlook concerned investors, and its shares slid more than 3 percent.

- Associated Press

l Goldcorp set to buy Andean Resources: Goldcorp said Friday it has agreed to buy Andean Resources for about $3.42 billion, trumping a rival bid from Eldorado Gold. The acquisition would give Canada-based Goldcorp, the world's second-largest gold producer by market value, access to Andean's Cerro Negro project in Argentina, which is said to have a significant amount of gold and silver.

The Goldcorp-Andean deal has been approved by both companies' boards but requires approval by Andean shareholders. The companies expect the deal to close by early 2011.

The announcement came shortly after Canada's Eldorado made a $3.2 billion offer for the company. Eldorado has been looking at buying Andean for the past two years, and its chief executive, Paul Wright, said it remains a serious bidder and will keep its options open.

l SEC settles with Nacchio: The Securities and Exchange Commission has settled its civil lawsuit against former Qwest chief executive Joseph Nacchio. The suit accused Nacchio and other former Qwest executives of misleading investors by not specifying how much of the telecom firm's revenue from 1999 to 2002 was one-time and how much was recurring.

A federal judge must approve the settlement. Documents filed Thursday show Nacchio wouldn't admit guilt but would agree never to serve as an officer of a public company again. Nacchio's attorney didn't immediately return a message Friday.

Nacchio previously was fined $19 million and ordered to forfeit $44.6 million on criminal insider-trading convictions. Officials have proposed transferring the $44.6 million to a fund to distribute to harmed Qwest investors.

- From news services

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