Key Players in Enron Scandal

Sunday, August 06, 2006

By The Associated Press

HOUSTON — Here is a list of the people charged in connection with the Enron scandal since it erupted in December 2001, and the status of their cases:

CONVICTED AT TRIAL:

_May 2006, Enron founder Kenneth Lay and former CEO Jeffrey Skilling were convicted May 25 of conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud. Skilling faced 28 charges, including fraud, conspiracy and insider trading, on charges connected to various alleged schemes to fool investors into believing Enron was financially healthy so Enron executives could pocket millions from sales of inflated stock. He was convicted of 19 charges, and acquitted of nine others that included insider trading. Lay was convicted on six counts for perpetuating the ruse upon Skilling's resignation in 2001, less than three months before Enron crumbled. Skilling faces 20 years or more in prison and is to be sentenced Oct. 23. Lay died July 5.

_In a separate case, Lay was convicted in a non-jury trial by U.S. District Judge Sim Lake on one count of bank fraud and three counts of making false statements to banks stemming from his personal banking. Lay's death allows for all his convictions to be erased because he hadn't appealed or been sentenced.

_May 2006, Former Enron broadband unit chief financial officer Kevin Howard was convicted May 31 on five counts of fraud, conspiracy and falsifying records in the first of three retrials of five former broadband executives to take place after their first trial ended last year in a hung jury. Sentencing: Oct. 30.

_November 2004, former midlevel Enron finance executive Dan Boyle convicted of conspiracy and fraud for colluding with others to pass off a loan as a saleof three power barges moored off the coast of Nigeria in late 1999 to appear to have met earnings targets. Former Merrill Lynch&Co. executive James Brown was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice for lying to a grand jury when he claimed he knew nothing of Enron's promise to resell or buy back the barges six months after Merrill pretended to buy them.

AWAITING TRIAL:

_Three of the five former Enron broadband executives await retrials.

Former broadband unit CEO Joseph Hirko and Rex Shelby, a former senior vice president and software strategist, face trial on charges of conspiracy and insider trading. Each were acquitted on a handful of more than 20 charges each faced last year, and were reindicted on fewer than 10 counts each.

Scott Yeager, former senior vice president and broadband strategist, has no trial date set pending the outcome of his appeal to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to drop insider trading and money laundering counts against him. Jurors in last year's trial acquitted him of fraud and conspiracy charges, and he was reindicted on 13 counts, a dramatic drop from the more than 100 he had faced.

Both cases have been postponed indefinitely pending appeals.

_Three British bankers extradited to Texas July 13 face a yet-unscheduled trial on wire fraud charges filed in June 2002 for allegedly bilking their former employer, National Westminster Bank, out of $7.3 million in a scheme engineered by former Enron finance chief Andrew Fastow. David Bermingham, Giles Darby and Gary Mulgrew all have pleaded innocent and came to the United States after losing all appeals in a two-year extradition battle.

ACQUITTED AT TRIAL:

_November 2004, former in-house Enron accountant Sheila Kahanek was acquitted by the jury in the barge trial.

_May 2006, former in-house accountant Michael Krautz was acquitted by the jury in his retrial alongside Kevin Howard.

CONVICTIONS OVERTURNED:

_May 2005: The U.S. Supreme Court overturned former Big Five accounting firm Arthur Andersen LLP's June 2002 conviction of obstruction of justice for destroying Enron-related audit documents in October and November 2001 as regulators began probing the energy company's finances. The high court ruled unanimously that vague jury instructions allowed jurors to convict without finding criminal intent behind the mass document destruction effort.

_August 2006: A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned fraud and conspiracy convictions against former Merrill Lynch executives Daniel Bayly, Robert Furst and James A. Brown on grounds that prosecutors employed a flawed theory that they robbed Enron of honest services. Fraud and conspiracy convictions against a fourth ex-Merrill executive, William Fuhs, also was overturned on grounds that evidence was insufficient to support a conviction. Brown's perjury and obstruction convictions were upheld. Bayly, Furst and Fuhs were each released on bond pending the outcomes of their appeals earlier this year, while Brown was ordered to remain imprisoned. Boyle, the fifth defendant who was convicted in the barge trial, did not appeal.

GUILTY PLEAS:

_Timothy Despain, former assistant treasurer, pleaded guilty in October 2004 to conspiracy. Admitted lying or withholding pertinent information from credit rating agencies at the request of multiple superiors so the energy giant's financial picture appeared healthier than it really was. Maximum penalty: 5 years. Sentencing: Sept. 15.

_David Delainey, former head of Enron's trading and money-losing retail energy units. Pleaded guilty to insider trading October 2003. Maximum penalty: 10 years. Sentencing: Sept. 18.

_Paula Rieker, former No. 2 executive in investor relations and later corporate secretary. Pleaded guilty in May 2004 to insider trading for selling shares in mid-2001 upon learning that Enron's broadband unit lostmore money than publicly disclosed. Maximum penalty: 10 years. Sentencing: Sept. 22.

_Andrew Fastow, former chief financial officer. Indicted on 98 counts of fraud, conspiracy, insider trading, money laundering and others. Pleaded guilty in January 2004 to two counts of conspiracy, admitting to orchestrating myriad schemes to hide Enron debt and inflate profits while enriching himself. Surrendered nearly $30 million in cash and property. Agreed to serve the maximum 10 years in prison. Sentencing: Sept. 26.

_Christopher Calger, a former executive in Enron's trading business, pleaded guilty in July 2005 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud for participating in an asset sale scheme to recognize earnings prematurely and improperly. Maximum penalty: Five years. Sentencing: Oct. 12.

_Richard Causey, former chief accounting officer. Originally indicted in January 2004, Causey was part of a unified defense team with Enron founder Kenneth Lay and former Chief Executive Jeffrey Skilling for nearly two years until he pleaded guilty to securities fraud in December 2005. The maximum penalty is 10 years, but Causey agreed as part of his plea deal to serve seven years. If pleased with his cooperation, prosecutors can recommend that a judge shave that term to five years. Sentencing: Oct. 19.

_Mark Koenig, former head of investor relations, pleaded guilty in August 2004 to aiding and abetting securities fraud. Maximum penalty: 10 years. Sentencing: Oct. 27.

_Michael Kopper, former top Fastow aide. First Enron insider to plead guilty in August 2002 to two counts of conspiracy. Admitted to helping Fastow carry out schemes to help Enron manipulate its books while skimming millions for himself, Fastow and others. Maximum penalty: 15 years. Sentencing: Nov. 3.

_Kenneth Rice, former broadband unit CEO, pleaded guilty in July 2004 to securities fraud. Admitted to conspiring with others to describe Enron's network control software as revolutionary and the network as up and running when neither was true so Enron stock would rise and he could profit from sales of inflated shares. Maximum penalty: 10 years. Sentencing: Dec. 4.

_Kevin Hannon, former chief operating officer for the broadband unit, pleaded guilty in August 2004 to conspiracy for scheming with Rice and others to tout Enron's broadband network as having capabilities it didn't have to impress analysts and inflate company stock. Maximum penalty: 5 years. Sentencing: Dec. 4.

_Lea Fastow, former assistant treasurer at Enron and wife of Andrew Fastow. Pleaded guilty in May 2004 to a misdemeanor tax crime for helping her husband hide their ill-gotten gains from his Enron schemes through fraudulent tax returns. Served a year in federal prison, released July 2005.

_Ben Glisan Jr., former Enron treasurer. Pleaded guilty to conspiracy in September 2003 for creating fraudulent financial structures to hide Enron debt and bad investments. Went straight to prison, testified in two Enron trials and will be released on home confinement in September 2006. Sentence will be finished in January 2007.

_Larry Lawyer, former finance executive. Pleaded guilty in November 2002 to a tax crime for failing to include Enron kickbacks as income on tax returns. Sentenced in June 2006 to two years'probation.

GUILTY PLEAS, NO SENTENCING DATES SET:

_Timothy Belden, former top Enron trader. Pleaded guilty in October 2002 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Maximum penalty: Five years.

_Jeffrey Richter, former trader, pleaded guilty in February 2003 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and lying to the FBI. Maximum penalty: 10 years, five years for each count.

_John Forney, former trader, pleaded guilty in August 2004 to wire fraud. Maximum penalty: five years.

All three admitted to participating in trading schemes to manipulate California power markets during that state's energy crisis in 2000-01.

WITHDRAWN GUILTY PLEA:

_December 2005, David Duncan, Arthur Andersen LLP's former top Enron accountant. The government's first Enron-related cooperating witness, he pleaded guilty in April 2002 to obstruction of justice, admitting to participating in destruction of Enron-related documents. In December 2005 U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon granted his request, unopposed by prosecutors, to withdraw his plea on grounds that he didn't admit to having criminal intent when he entered it. Prosecutors have the option to indict him.

SETTLEMENTS:

_July 2003, J.P. Morgan Chase and Citigroup paid nearly $300 million to settle allegations from the Securities and Exchange Commission, New York state and New York City that they helped Enron manipulate its financial statements and mislead investors.

_September 2003, Merrill Lynch&Co. avoided prosecution related to the barge deal by acknowledging that some employees may have broken the law and implementing reforms.

_October 2003, Wesley Colwell, former chief accounting officer for Enron's trading unit, agreed to pay $500,000 to settle SEC allegations of manipulating earnings by using trading profits to offset massive losses in Enron's retail energy unit. Cooperated with the Justice Department and testified against Lay and Skilling, but faces no criminal charges.

_December 2003, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, avoided prosecution by accepting responsibility for crimes committed by employees who knowingly participated in complicated transactions that wrongly moved assets off of Enron's balance sheet so the energy company could inflate earnings.

_February 2005, Raymond Bowen Jr., finance chief at Enron from the aftermath of its failure through his resignation in October 2004, agreed to pay $500,000 to settle SEC allegations that he knew or should have known some assets were grossly overvalued to falsely inflate profits. Bowen did not admit or deny the allegations and faces no criminal charges.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

SEARCH