HOUSTON – Andrew Fastow, the former Enron Corp. financial whiz, was sentenced Tuesday to six years in prison for his role in the energy company's collapse that wiped out thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in retirement savings.
Fastow, Enron's former chief financial officer, had agreed to serve a maximum 10-year term when he pleaded guilty in 2004.
His attorneys, David Gerger and John Keker, on Tuesday asked for a lesser sentence, citing Fastow's admission of his guilt and his help in the federal government's successful prosecution of Enron founder Kenneth Lay and the former chief executive, Jeffrey Skilling.
Enron, once the nation's seventh-largest company, crumbled into bankruptcy proceedings in December 2001 after years of accounting tricks could no longer hide billions in debt or make failing ventures appear profitable. The collapse wiped out more than $60 billion in market value along with thousands of jobs and more than $2 billion in pension plans.
Fastow was originally indicted on 98 counts, including fraud, insider trading and money laundering. He pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy, admitting to running various schemes to hide Enron debt and inflate profits while enriching himself. He also surrendered nearly $30 million in cash and property.
At their trial, Fastow testified Lay and Skilling were aware of fraudulent financial structures engineered by Fastow and his staff.
Skilling and Lay were convicted in May of conspiracy and fraud. Lay's attorneys are working to erase his convictions since his July 5 death from heart disease. Skilling is to be sentenced next month.
Fastow's wife, Lea, pleaded guilty in 2004 to a misdemeanor tax crime and served a year in prison for helping him hide ill-gotten gains from his schemes.