Friday, November 17, 2006

Two More Enron Executives Sentenced

The sentencing of the major Enron players who reached plea agreements and testified for the government against former CEOs Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling concluded this week.  Michael Kopper, an aide to former CFO Andrew Fastow who helped set up the special purpose entities that caused much of the accounting troubles at the company, received a 37-month sentence from U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein.  Mark Koenig, the head of Enron's investor relations department, received an 18-month term.  Kopper was the first Enron executive to plead guilty, and his cooperation was instrumental in the case against Fastow, who in turn provided evidence against Lay and Skilling.  Koenig was the government's first witness at trial and described the misstatements made to investors by Enron's management, a key part of the government's case.  Judge Werlein, who earlier gave Fastow four years less than his plea agreement called for, accepted the government's recommendation to give Kopper and Koenig reduced sentences for their cooperation, again highlighting the significant benefits that can flow from a plea agreement.  An AP story (here) discusses the sentencing. (ph)

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