Enron the play in London—will there be one about a stablecoin one day? (via Wiki Commons)

Former Enron CEO seeks to transition from jail to blockchain

Jeffrey Skilling is reportedly working on creating a blockchain-based business aimed at connecting investors with oil and gas firms

One of the shadiest guys in the room is looking to start—surprise!—a blockchain company. Former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling is working on creating a blockchain-based company in the oil and gas industry, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal. Skilling was recently released after serving more than 12 years in prison for his role in the Enron scandal, which saw the energy-trading firm collapse in 2001 due to an enormous accounting fraud scheme.

The rise and fall of Enron was documented in the film “The Smartest Guys in the Room,” which detailed how executives of what was one of the largest companies in America at the time of its collapse pocketed fortunes while reporting inflated profits to shareholders, including employees encouraged to invest in the company shortly before it collapsed into bankruptcy.

Former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling's mugshot in 2004. Still not as disreputable as some in crypto (via Wiki Commons).
Former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling’s mugshot in 2004. Still not as disreputable as some in crypto (via Wiki Commons).

The Journal article did not go into much detail about Skilling’s proposed company—it was based on anonymous interviews with people with knowledge of Skilling’s plans to create what is described as a “digital platform connecting investors to oil and gas projects.”

Energy firms in the oil and gas fracking industry have been having particular trouble attracting investors recently.

Skilling is reportedly working with a number of former Enron executives, including Lou Pai, its one-time head of energy services.

The article added that he has met with experts in cryptocurrency, blockchain, and software developments since getting out of prison in February. Skilling is permanently barred from serving as an officer or director of a public company.

The Enron affair also led to the collapse of accounting firm Arthur Andersen, and led to stronger government regulations around corporate governance and reporting, including the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

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Leo Jakobson, Modern Consensus editor-in-chief, is a New York-based journalist who has traveled the world writing about incentive travel. He has also covered consumer and employee engagement, small business, the East Coast side of the Internet boom and bust, and New York City crime, nightlife, and politics. Disclosure: Jakobson has put some 401k money into Grayscale Bitcoin Trust.