By The Associated Press
10:21 AM PDT, May 25, 2006
* Enron founder Kenneth Lay and former CEO Jeffrey Skilling were convicted Thursday 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. Sentencing was set for Sept. 11.
* 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. Prosecutors allege he misled lenders of his intention to use $75 million in personal loans to carry or buy stock on margin. Each count carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.
* Former Enron broadband unit chief financial officer Kevin Howard and former in-house broadband accountant Michael Krautz were the first of five former executives from Enron's defunct broadband unit to be retried this year after a jury hung on most counts against all the defendants after a three-month trial in 2005. Jurors could not reach verdicts on any of the 15 counts Howard and Krautz faced last year. In November, the government re-indicted each on five counts of conspiracy, wire fraud and falsifying books and records. Their retrial began with jury selection May 2 in the courtroom next door to the Lay-Skilling case.
* The remaining 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, are slated to go to trial on charges of conspiracy and insider trading on Sept. 4. Each were acquitted on a handful of more than 20 charges each faced last year, and were re-indicted 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.
* Three British bankers fighting extradition on charges of wire fraud 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 were arrested in April 2004 and pleaded innocent.
PREVIOUSLY CONVICTED AT TRIAL:
* November 2004, four former Merrill Lynch & Co. executives and a former Enron finance executive, conspiracy and fraud. Jurors determined former Merrill executives Daniel Bayly, James A. Brown, Robert S. Furst and William Fuhs and former Enron executive Dan Boyle conspired to pass off a loan from Merrill as a sale of three power barges moored off the coast of Nigeria in late 1999. In March, Fuhs was released from prison on bond pending appeal, the other four are serving prison sentences ranging from 2 1/2 years to nearly four years.
ACQUITTED AT TRIAL:
* November 2004, former in-house Enron accountant Sheila Kahanek was found not guilty by the jury in the barge trial.
* In 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.
* July, Christopher Calger, a former executive in Enron's trading business, pleaded guilty to participating in an asset sale scheme to recognize earnings prematurely and improperly. Sentencing: Aug. 10.
* December, Richard Causey, former Enron chief accounting officer. Originally indicted in January 2004, Causey was part of a unified defense team with Skilling and Lay for nearly two years until he pleaded guilty to securities fraud. He was not called to testify by either side in the Lay-Skilling case. Sentencing: Aug. 17.
* January, Andrew Fastow, former finance chief. Indicted in October 2002 on what eventually grew to 98 counts of fraud, conspiracy, insider trading, money laundering and others. Pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy, admitting to orchestrating myriad schemes to hide Enron debt and inflate profits while enriching himself with millions. Surrendered nearly $30 million in cash and property. Agreed to serve up to 10 years in prison once prosecutors no longer need his cooperation. Testified against Lay and Skilling. Sentencing: June 13.
* January/May, Lea Fastow, former assistant treasurer and wife of former finance chief Andrew Fastow, who quit Enron in 1997. Pleaded guilty first to a felony tax crime, admitting to helping hide ill-gotten gains from her husband's schemes from the government. Withdrew plea, then pleaded guilty in May to a misdemeanor tax crime. Released in July 2005 from year-long prison sentence.
* May, Paula Rieker, former No. 2 executive in investor relations and corporate secretary. Pleaded guilty to insider trading for selling shares in mid-2001 upon learning that Enron's broadband unit lost more money than publicly disclosed. Testified against Lay and Skilling. Sentencing: July 28.
* July, Kenneth Rice, former broadband unit CEO, pleaded guilty 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. Testified in the first broadband trial last year and against Lay and Skilling. Sentencing: Dec. 4.
* August, John Forney, former energy trader, pleaded guilty to wire fraud for manipulating energy markets during California's power crisis of 2000-2001. No sentencing date set.
* August, Mark Koenig, former head of investor relations, pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting securities fraud. Testified against Lay and Skilling as well as Howard and Krautz. Sentencing: Oct. 27.
* August, Kevin Hannon, former chief operating officer for the broadband unit, pleaded guilty 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. Testified against Lay and Skilling. Sentencing: Dec. 4.
* October, Timothy DeSpain, former assistant treasurer, pleaded guilty to conspiracy, and admitted lying or withholding pertinent information from credit rating agencies at the request of multiple superiors so Enron's financial picture appeared healthier than it really was. Sentencing: Sept. 15.
* February, Jeffrey Richter, former Enron trader. Pleaded guilty to wire fraud, admitting to manipulating the California power market. No sentencing date set.
* September, Ben Glisan Jr., former Enron treasurer, pleaded guilty to conspiracy. Admitted to designing financial structures that helped manipulate Enron's books. Went straight to prison for a five-year term. Began cooperating with investigators in early 2004. Shaved more than a year off his sentence for good behavior and completion of an alcohol treatment program. Slated to be released in September to be confined at home until his sentence is finished in January 2007. Testified against Lay and Skilling and the barge defendants.
* October, David Delainey, former head of Enron's trading and money-losing retail energy units. Pleaded guilty to insider trading. Testified against Lay and Skilling. Sentencing July 10.
* August, Michael Kopper, former top Fastow aide. First Enron insider to plead guilty; pleaded guilty 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 selected friends and colleagues. Testified in the barge trial. Sentencing: June 9.
* October, Timothy Belden, former top Enron trader. Pleaded guilty to wire fraud for participating in trading schemes to manipulate California power markets. Testified against Lay and Skilling. No sentencing date set.
* November, Larry Lawyer, pleaded guilty to filing false tax returns that didn't identify more than $79,000 in income over four years he received as "gifts" from Kopper for his work in one of Fastow's schemes. Sentencing: June 26.
WITHDRAWN GUILTY PLEAS:
* December, 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.
* 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.
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