Ex-Enron Broadband Executive Sentenced to 16 Months in Prison

The former chief executive of the failed Internet division of the former energy giant Enron Corp. has been sentenced to 16 months in prison.

A federal judge sentenced Joseph Hirko in Houston on Monday. Hirko also has agreed to pay $8.7 million in restitution as part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors.

Prosecutors say Hirko falsely promoted Enron's broadband division to analysts to help pump up the company's stock price. Hirko admitted that he knew the broadband operating system couldn't do what it had been promoted to do.

Enron was once the seventh-largest U.S. company. It collapsed into bankruptcy in December 2001 after years of accounting tricks could no longer hide billions of dollars in debt nor make failing ventures appear profitable.