Andrew Fastow, 40, surrendered Wednesday morning to FBI agents and had a court date later Wednesday.
The criminal complaint charges that Fastow and others created a scheme to defraud Enron and its shareholders through transactions with off-the-books partnerships that made the company look more profitable than it was.
With the exception of Michael Kopper, a once-trusted Fastow aide who has pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges, the complaint does not identify the others who allegedly participated in the scheme that led to Enron’s bankruptcy.
Fastow, 40, arrived at the FBI’s headquarters in Houston in anticipation of an initial court appearance on charges related to partnerships credited with fueling Enron’s swift descent into bankruptcy last year.
He was accompanied by his attorney, John Keker. After Fastow turned himself in, Keker quickly left.
Fastow spent about 30 minutes inside the FBI office before two agents led him out in handcuffs.
Fastow is said to have devised the company’s complex web of off-the-books partnerships used to hide some $1 billion in debt from shareholders and federal regulators. He is the most prominent company figure targeted so far by the Justice Department.
“Today’s complaint demonstrates the effectiveness of a swift, coordinated law enforcement response to even the most sophisticated financial crimes,” Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson told a Washington news conference. “Our strategy is straight-forward. We aim to put the bad guys in prison and take away their money.”