Saturday, November 11, 2006
Former Enron CFO Andrew Fastow has finally headed off to a prison in the federal correctional system after a delay of almost two months to allow him to give a deposition in the securities fraud class action against the company's banks. Fastow is currently being held in the Federal Detention Center (website here) in Oakdale, Louisiana, which was not his first choice of facilities. U.S. District Judge Hoyt recommended when he sentenced Fastow that the Bureau of Prisons place him at Bastrop, Texas, a minimum security FCI near Austin, but judges have no control over what the BOP decides on assignments. The Oakdale complex includes a minimum security facility (the Oakdale FCI), where former WorldCom CEO Bernie Ebbers is serving his 25-year sentence, although Fastow is currently in the FDC there, which also includes a prison camp. They could end up together in the same facility, proving that it is a small world of white collar criminals.
Before being dispatched on the BOP bus to Oakdale, Fastow testified for eight and a half days in Houston, taking a daily trip with U.S. Marshals to a facility where seventy lawyers listened to him, along with live internet broadcasting. A New York Times story (here) estimates that at $450 per hour, all those lawyers billed about $2.1 million. That figure may be on the low side because it likely does not include the costs of support personnel and associates back in the firm offices and, of course, the all-important daily transcripts and duplication costs. If the securities fraud case goes to trial, then Fastow may well get another trip back to Houston to testify once again. The Enron litigation just keeps going, and going, and going . . . . (ph)