Prosecutors are expected to announce an indictment of Enron’s former chief financial officer, Andrew Fastow, as soon as next week, USA Today reported in Wednesday editions, citing legal sources close to the investigation.
A criminal indictment would be the first against one of the former top executives of Enron, a global energy giant whose collapse last year cost shareholders billions, left thousands of workers unemployed and turned a spotlight on corporate ethics.
The indictment is expected to charge Fastow and several of his subordinates with fraud and other crimes related to the vast web of partnerships Enron used to move debt from its books and inflate profits fraudulently, the newspaper said. Investigators say Fastow made at least $30 million on the partnerships during his tenure as CFO from 1999 until October.
One of the newspaper’s sources said a grand jury already has returned a sealed indictment against Fastow.
Fastow’s attorney, John Keker of San Francisco, declined to comment, USA Today reported. Leslie Caldwell, chief of the task force investigating the Enron case, also declined to comment.
The Fastow family’s spokesman, Gordon Andrew, and another Fastow lawyer, David Boies, did not immediately return calls late Tuesday by The Associated Press.
Fastow’s attorneys approached the task force several months ago hoping to strike a deal with prosecutors, but was rebuffed, the newspaper said, citing a legal source with knowledge of the matter.
It’s unclear whether Fastow could still strike an agreement with prosecutors.
An indictment would mean “all guns are blazing and all bets are off,” said Jacob Frenkel, a securities attorney with Smith Gambrell & Russell.