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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Dynegy Exec Gets 24 Years for Fraud

HOUSTON -- A former Dynegy executive was sentenced to more than 24 years in prison late last week for an accounting fraud that authorities say caused more than $500 million in stock losses.

In invoking the sentence, U.S. District Judge Sim Lake cited congressional intent to harshly sentence corporate-fraud defendants.

Federal probation authorities had asked for Jamie Olis to be sentenced to 24 to 30 years in prison. The maximum possible sentence was 35 years for one count each of conspiracy, securities fraud and mail fraud, and three counts of wire fraud.

"I take no pleasure in sentencing you to 292 months," Lake told Olis in court. "Sometimes good people commit bad acts, and that's what happened in this case."

There is no parole in the federal system, meaning Olis, 38, must serve nearly the full sentence.

Olis' sentence is more than double that which former Enron finance chief Andrew Fastow is likely to receive after pleading guilty to two counts of conspiracy in January and agreeing to help prosecutors build other cases.

The judge is expected to recommend a 10-year term.

Olis was charged in June alongside two co-conspirators, his former boss Gene Shannon Foster and a former company accountant, Helen Christine Sharkey.

Foster and Sharkey each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy in August, and Foster testified against Olis in his November trial.

Foster said he, Olis and Sharkey were part of a larger group that crafted and approved an Enronesque natural gas deal dubbed "Project Alpha" in response to analyst concerns in 2000 that cash flow lagged behind recorded earnings from the trading unit.