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Former Enron Executive Surrenders To FBI

Oct 3, 2002 | The Daily Texan

The federal government indicted former Enron Chief Financial Officer Andrew Fastow for fraud, money laundering and conspiracy Wednesday in a U.S. District Court in Houston.

Fastow turned himself in to the FBI and was taken in handcuffs to a federal court, where the charges were brought against him.

Fastow is now the second Enron executive to be indicted on criminal charges since the energy giant's fall. Michael Kopper, Fastow's aide, plead guilty to charges of conspiracy in August.

Remarks from U.S. Deputy Attorney General Larry Thomp-son suggest Fastow will not be the last Enron official to face criminal charges.

"We aim to put the bad guys in prison and take away their money," Thompson said. "This investigation is active and ongoing."

Kopper had implicated Fastow in his confession, Thompson said, and Kopper is continuing to cooperate with authorities.

John Keker, Fastow's attorney, said Fastow will cooperate fully with the investigations. He said Fastow was only acting under orders of his superiors, Enron Chief Executive Kenneth Lay and Enron's board of directors.

"Enron's board of directors, its CEO and its chairman directed and praised his work," Keker said. "Accountants and lawyers reviewed and approved his work. He never believed he was committing a crime."

David Donnelly, director of the Reform Voter Project, said Fastow's arrest may lead to the downfall of political figures with ties to Enron.

"Voters in Texas need to continue to remind themselves that while looking at this business scandal, people who were supposed to be watchdogs on the state and federal level were paid to look the other way while taxpayers and stockholders lost all their money," Donnelly said.

Donnelly said politicians involved with Enron may be implicated once more details come forth.

"The more we learn of scandals in all these companies, World-Com, Tyco ... It's inevitable that it will come back to reflect poorly on elected officials that helped them," Donnelly said.

The charges brought against Fastow include security fraud, bank fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, laundering the money received in the fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud.

Overall, the criminal complaint alleges that Fastow pocketed $4.5 million illegally.

Fastow was charged with making millions off the sales of stocks that were of inflated value, as well as laundering money. The complaint alleges that Fastow had Kopper write checks to Fastow's family.

The money laundering charge carries the biggest potential penalty, with up to 20 years in federal prison. Fastow faces a maximum of 40 years for the charges brought against him, a sentence that could be reduced if Fastow cooperates with the investigation.

On Sept. 25, the federal government froze $11 million of the Fastow family's assets as part of its investigations.

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