U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon in Houston gave final approval to $6.6 billion settlements of claims that Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce helped Enron executives inflate earnings by hiding debt as loans.
Lawyers for former Enron shareholders and employees said they are pursuing class-action claims against other banks and former executives over the company’s 2001 collapse.
Enron, once the world’s largest energy trading firm, had more than $68 billion in market value before its December 2001 bankruptcy filing wiped out thousands of jobs and at least $1 billion in retirement funds virtually overnight.
Lay, 64, and Skilling, 52, each face at least 25 years in prison if convicted of charges that they used off-the-books partnerships to manipulate Enron’s finances.
Both Skilling and Lay are named as defendants in the class-action lawsuit, which was brought by investors seeking compensation for the plunge in Enron’s share value as it imploded in 2001.