Court sentences former head of Enron broadband unit

One of the key prosecution witnesses whose testimony helped convict former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling and company founder Kenneth Lay was sentenced to 27 months in prison, an Associated Press report said.It's been nearly three years since Kenneth Rice, 48, the former chief of Enron's high-speed Internet unit, pleaded guilty to securities fraud and agreed to help federal prosecutors on other cases related to the energy giant's collapse. His sentencing was postponed as he cooperated with prosecutors, the Associated Press report said.Rice becomes the ninth ex-Enron executive to receive a jail term after pleading guilty to crimes, the report said.Before sentencing, Rice apologized for his role in the corporate scandal that wiped out thousands of jobs, more than $60 billion in market value and more than $2 billion in pension plans., the report added.Rice, who also was fined $50,000, was allowed to remain free on bond until the Bureau of Prisons determines where he will do time. More than a dozen family members and friends from across the country attended the sentencing before US district judge Vanessa Gilmore, including his mother, brother and ex-wife. Some wept and embraced after the proceeding, the report further said.

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