Innovation in Incarceration
Convicted Enron criminal and CEO, Jeff Skilling, has announced that he has outsourced his 24-year prison sentence to a man in Mumbai.
"This is a far more efficient solution," said Skilling, shortly before boarding an Air Force jet heading for South America. "It makes economic sense and I believe I will be able to maintain the same level of service I have provided throughout my career."
Under the terms of the contract, the man in India has agreed not to leave his home, have sex with his wife or engage in business activities.
"I think his name is Sanjay," said one of Skilling's aides, "but he has agreed to go by the name of 'Jeff' for the whole time he is in gaol. Well, not gaol, exactly, but a functional equivalent."
Sources close to the Mumbai man say that he is very pleased with the deal. "All he has to do is sit around watching TV," said one. "And he already has eleven kids, so I think his wife is going to enjoy the time off too."
Civil liberties and anti-corruption activists are reported to be furious. "This is a travesty of justice," said a spokesperson for somebody or other. "At the very least they should send a gang of musclebound thugs round to the Indian man's place once a month to rape him in the showers."
The Indian was chosen by Skilling's lawyers after an exhaustive contract bidding process. The most important qualification, one lawyer explained, was that the successful applicant should be well-mannered. "We didn't want anyone with a temper or anger management issues," he said, "because Jeff is hoping to get significant time off for good behavior. With any luck, he'll be out in a few years."
In a statement issued via his Blackberry from the departing aircraft, Skilling said: "I am glad to be able to repay my debt to society in this way. Not only is it very cost-effective, it is also bringing much-needed employment to a third-world country."
Now that Ken Lay has been declared innocent ('Late Enron boss's verdict quashed'), sources close to the corporate crook say that the former Enron boss might be making a comeback.
"Now that he's no longer a criminal, there's no point in him staying dead, is there?" said a loyal aide. "It's only common sense."
"Besides," he added, "it'd be a shame to let all that money he collected go to waste."
Harry Bitta, a former engineer with Enron who saw his pension disappear and who now exists on welfare, said: "If that son-of-a-bitch comes back to life I'm gonna get my gun and send him right back to hell."
Reports of Lay's imminent second coming are strongly denied by his family. It's rumoured that his window, Linda Lay, said: "I can't possibly afford to have him back. I'm barely making ends meet as it is, with an annuity of only $32,643 a month coming from that $4 million he squirrelled away. So I feel the pain of those poor suck... I mean, poor old people who don't have pensions any more."
There is some confusion over how Lay might make his comeback. "He might just turn up and say he'd been having a terrible dream," said an ex-Enron marketing executive. "Or maybe that he'd been in a coma. Or perhaps on a golfing holiday."
Several US corporations have expressed an interest in hiring Lay.
Dead Man Walking
Notorious corporate criminal and so-called 'dead man' Ken Lay has been seen in Afghanistan, according to uncomfirmed reports coming out of Kabul.
The disgraced Enron boss and convicted crook was apparently spirited out of the US by forces acting on behalf of close personal friend and fellow businessman George W Bush.
One source has been quoted as saying, "There's no way they were gonna let that sucker appeal. Christ alone knows what the asshole would have said to save himself. He knows where the bodies are buried. Really."
The operation used a special team that first went into action the day after the 9/11 attacks, when George W Bush's close personal friends and business partners, the bin Laden family, were flown out of the US on luxury planes while every other flight in the country was grounded.
It's said that Lay stopped off briefly at Guantanamo Bay, to pick up authentic clothes taken from captured 'terrorists'. One guard, who was later interviewed while he was blind drunk in a Havana bar, reported Lay as saying, "That poor, dumb bastard won't need 'em any more."
Some of the information emanating from Afghanistan appears to stem from a mole within Al Qaeda. Known by his cover name Mustaf al Emari, he is rumoured to be Osama bin Laden's favourite manicurist.
Quotes attributed to al Emari suggest that Lay is already at work, providing pension investment advice to Taleban opium lords. "These people have a lot of spare cash and are looking for safe ways of providing for their future."
It's possible that Lay has also joined forces with bin Laden himself. "They're both on the Bush & Cheney payroll," said a Department of Homeland Defence analyst, who preferred not to be named. "So it makes sense if they hang out together. It reduces the chances of a journalist finding one of them."
Pentagon and State Department officials have been unable to confirm the rumours. But one anonymous source said that, "If it's true Lay is helping the Taleban with their finances, then we might actually have a slim chance of beating the bastards after all."