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The Enron Era Scandals—What Happened to the Good Guys?

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Mr. Markham is Professor of Law, Florida International University, and the author of A Financial History of Modern U.S. Corporate Scandals From Enron to Reform (M.E. Sharpe 2006).

The accounting scandal at the Enron Corp. touched off a media storm that President George W. Bush responded to with the creation of an Enron Task Force at the Justice Department. Its assignment was to track down executives at companies experiencing accounting scandals. One of its first targets was Enron’s accounting firm, Arthur Andersen & Co., which was indicted for obstruction of justice for shredding tons of Enron documents. Arthur Andersen nearly won its case at trial after the audit partner, who had pleaded guilty to ordering the shredding, admitted on cross examination that he did not think that what he was doing was wrong. The government then claimed that Nancy Temple, a mild mannered Arthur Andersen lawyer, obstructed justice by advice she gave on retaining documents and for asking that some wording be changed in a memorandum discussing Enron’s problems. Temple had testified at length and believably before Congress as to why she believed her actions were appropriate, but she was kept off the stand in the Arthur Andersen trial after government prosecutors threatened her with prosecution. That gamesmanship led to the conviction of Arthur Andersen.

The Supreme Court later reversed Arthur Andersen’s conviction, but not in time to save it from destruction. Much outrage was expressed in the press over the 5,000 jobs lost at Enron, but little was said about the 28,000 jobs lost at Arthur Andersen as a result of the government’s misguided prosecution. That was not the only damage. A $750 million settlement offer to Enron investors was pulled off the table by Arthur Andersen after its indictment, and several thousand elderly retirees benefiting from another Arthur Andersen settlement lost their funds as well. Michael Chertoff, Deputy Attorney General at the Justice Department, ordered Arthur Andersen’s prosecution even though he knew that no financial services firm had ever survived an indictment. That decision did not hurt Chertoff’s career. He moved on to head Homeland Security where he displayed no better judgment in handling the crisis over Hurricane Katrina

After slaughtering Arthur Andersen, the government turned to the Enron executives. Many were arrested and subjected to what became a ritual in the Enron era scandals—the “perp walk”— in which executives were paraded in handcuffs in front of the waiting press. There was no purpose for such treatment other than to degrade and humiliate those executives and to prejudice the jury pool. This practice reached its nadir with the dawn raid and perp walk given to John Rigas, the 80 year old head of Adelphia Communications Corp., who was suffering from cancer. That cold blooded assault was intended to strike fear in executives everywhere. The cynicism in these little dramas was made clear when the domestic diva Martha Stewart was allowed to surrender at her leisure without handcuffs in order to avoid sympathy for her plight. Ironically, Stewart was the only executive with any violent tendencies. She reportedly tried to run over a gardener with her car.

Once arrested, the fun really began. The government immediately started coercing lower level employees to “flip” by offering lenient sentences if they would testify against more senior executives. If that did not work, more charges were added so that the employee faced centuries of imprisonment. If that failed, the government started in on relatives. That worked well in the 1980s when Michael Milken, the “junk bond king” pleaded guilty after the government indicted his brother and sent FBI agents to question his 92 year old grandfather. Sam Waksal, the founder of ImClone Systems Inc. who touched off the Martha Stewart scandal, pleaded guilty to criminal charges after the government threatened to prosecute his daughter and his 80 year old father.

The Enron case was broken by extorting a guilty plea from Andrew Fastow, Enron’s chief financial officer. Fastow had initially refused to plead guilty even after the government doubled up on the charges against him. The prosecutors then indicted his wife, Lea, and demanded that the Fastows be tried together so that their two children would be orphaned if they were convicted. That worked and both pleaded guilty even though the income tax charges brought against Lea were a bit phony. The joint tax return she filed with her husband did not report some $67,000 that Andrew treated as a gift rather than income. Normally payment of the taxes and a small penalty would solve such problems, especially since the Fastow’s paid taxes on over $60 million in income that year, which suggests they were not tax cheats. Andrew also tearfully testified at the Skilling and Lay trial that Lea did not know anything about the transaction, but that had no effect on prosecutors. Lea was sent to a maximum security prison, placed in an over-crowded cell and kept under harsh lights for a year so that Andrew would know what was in store for him if he did not bring down Skilling and Lay.

Stacking the deck against any executive demanding a trial was the next phase for the government. This included issuing target letters such as was done with Nancy Temple in order to keep anyone from testifying in favor of the defendants. That tactic was employed against Skilling and Lay and is the subject of an appeal by Bernie Ebbers, the convicted former head of WorldCom Inc. Then came the now infamous “Thompson memorandum” named after its author, Deputy Attorney General Larry D. Thompson. It advised public companies that, in order to avoid indictment for the accounting misdeeds of their executives, they would have to “cooperate.” Since an indictment would destroy a public company, cooperation was mandatory.

According to the Justice Department, cooperation means waiving the attorney client privilege, firing any executive targeted by prosecutors before trial or even indictment and cutting off their attorney fees even if those fees are required to be paid by contract or state law. Federal Judge Lewis A. Kaplan has criticized and is holding hearings on the legality of this last tactic, but other judges joined in with aid and comfort to any and all abuses by prosecutors. Federal Judge Richard Owen assured the conviction of investment banker Frank Quattrone through constant one-sided rulings and biased instructions. Before its reversal on appeal, Quattrone’s conviction was aptly characterized as a “judicial mugging” by a group of public defenders. They were unlikely supporters given Quattrone’s compensation of $120 million a year as an investment banker.

Sentencing abuses were next on the agenda. Prosecutors wanted a 215 year sentence for 80 year old John Rigas at Adelphia, but the judge only gave him a shorter death sentence of 15 years. Bernie Ebbers, who was 63 and suffering from heart problems, was given a death sentence of 25 years by Judge Barbara Jones. Terrorists fared better. Take the case of Ahmed Ressam who was sentenced at about the same time to only 22 years. Ressam was the “Millennium Bomber” who was arrested at the Canadian border with 100 pounds of high explosives that he planned to use to blow up the Los Angeles airport. Then there is John Walker Lindh, the American Taliban, who was captured on the battlefields of Afghanistan trying to kill American soldiers. He was given only 20 years. Ressam’s and Lind’s younger ages and eligibility for early release further reduced the severity of their sentences.

Prosecutors and judges were supposed to be the good guys protecting our rights, not abusing them. The “financial moral panic” that followed the Enron era scandals and turned corporate executives into “Folk Devils”1 might explain this misconduct, but it does not justify it.

1 Jose Gabilondo, Financial Moral Panic! Sarbanes-Oxley, Financer Folk Devils, and Off-Balance-Sheet Arrangements (36 Seton Hall Law Review 781, 2006).


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Steve Broce - 5/25/2006

Justice is done


Robert Smith - 5/12/2006

A was actually sickened as I read this pathetic defense of greed and criminality. Essentially this is a long diatribe complaining that that the Federal government treated the criminals at Arthur Anderson and Enron, shockingly, like actual criminals instead of dinner guests.

I love this gem...

"Ironically, Stewart was the only executive with any violent tendencies. She reportedly tried to run over a gardener with her car."

The fact they were not violent means the did noting wrong! The only destroyed thousands of lives, and stole billions of dollars. That's all.


Steve Broce - 5/6/2006

Fred, you can lament all you want about the fact that no one has shown any prosecutorial misconduct in the AA case, but the facts are the facts. What evidence of "gross prosecutorial misconduct" do you have?

As for "When a superior court (excepting the fruits and nuts 9th circuit) dumps a case for this small reason, they are saying that the whole thing is wrong, and never should have been made", this is clearly wrong. Cases are overturned by the Supreme Court all the time for a variety of reasons. Rarely is it a case of "this case should never have been prosecuted"


"poor employees"? If you are referring to employees that had nothing to do with Enron, then I have already said that I feel sympahty for them.

If you are talking about the "poor employees" that got target letters, then IMHO, your sympathy is misplaced.
They recieved "target letters" because there was good evidence that they had engaged in criminal conduct.

Fred, let me give you some advice: If you recieve a subpoena duces tecum for documents, DO NOT destroy or alter them. You may recieve a yarget letter if you do.


Frederick Thomas - 5/5/2006


Nice serve. I will try to volly.

"One Count" True enough for AA, as eventually prosecuted, but much more was threatened to terrorize both AA and to the poor employees, not to mention the stock market, who as the author states could have been sentenced to many lifetimes of utterly fatuous charges, NONE of which were even brought. In any case, is this puny charge reason enough to destroy 38,000 jobs and a 9 billion dollar company?

"Misconduct not proven" Indeed not even charged, which is more of a crime. Goons are not an acceptable model for US legal officers.

"Proximate cause conviction" When a superior court (excepting the fruits and nuts 9th circuit) dumps a case for this small reason, they are saying that the whole thing is wrong, and never should have been made.

Lest this wonderful exchange grow into the Scopes trial, I bid thee adieu until the next earthshaking matter rumbles forth from the bowels of HNN.

















Steve Broce - 5/4/2006

“SURPRISINGLY well researched..” I demur, sir. I like to think every comment I make is well researched. :).

Actually, though, Fred, a Supreme Court overturning of a verdict is not the same as a “not guilty” verdict. A “not guilty “ finding would preclude the Government from retrying AA because of the Constitutional ban on “double jeopardy”. In this matter, the case was remanded to the District Court, where the Government was free to retry the case with the proper Jury instruction.

You question whether AA should have been charged “with RICO offenses, fraud and conspiracy on a grand scale”

THEY WEREN’T. AA was charged in a ONE COUNT indictment as follows; “through its partners and others, did knowingly, intentionally and corruptly persuade and attempt to persuade other persons, to wit: ANDERSEN employees, with intent to cause and induce such persons to (a) withhold records, documents and other objects from official proceedings, namely: regulatory and criminal proceedings and investigations, and (b) alter, destroy, mutilate and conceal objects with intent to impair the objects, integrity and availability for use in such official proceedings.”

Fred, the actions of the AA partners, in my opinion, could not fit the allegation in the indictment better if AA had set out to specifically commit the violation with which they were charged.

You seem to believe that some “gross prosecutorial misconduct” was “the proximate cause of the original ‘conviction.’” No one has ever found that “gross prosecutorial misconduct “ occurred in this case. Quite the contrary, the issue that the Supreme Court overturned this case on was a Jury Instruction, approved by the Judge and upheld by the Fifth Circuit that failed to include the requirement that the defendant “knowingly” committed the offense. In my opinion, the record clearly established that AA “knowingly” destroyed several tons of Enron documents with the clear intent to obstruct justice. The Supreme Court did not find that AA did not obstruct justice, they found that the jury instruction was invalid and overturned the conviction. No “prosecutorial misconduct” there.

--“:As to Ms. Markham, it sounds to me as if she was doing her best to represent her client and position it for litigation. While that litigation was only a rumor, she tried to skate a line which is pretty indefinite at times. I have difficulty in faulting her as you do.”

I can not agree with you, Fred. It seems clear to me that Ms. Temple (I assume that is who you were treferring to) set out to destroy incriminating documents, in violation of her employer’s own policy, with the intent to obstruct justice.

--“recall that there are Federal laws and rules mandating destruction of documents under certain circumstances, and standards for release of confidential information, to preserve client privacy.”

This clearly doesn’t apply to the facts at hand. No Federal law or rule required AA to destroy Enron documents and there is no “Accountant/Client” priveledge recognized in law. And what occurred at AA was clearly not ordinary compliance with a document destruction policy. What occurred was extraordinary document destruction of only Enron documents, in violation of a company document destruction policy.

Any defense that relies on blaming the Government for Enron’s demise is likely to fail, IMHO. I believe that what tanked Enron was a $1.2 BILLION dollar write down of shareholder equity that occurred before the Government ever started it’s investigation.


Frederick Thomas - 5/4/2006


If perp walks, mass arrests without evidence, and piling on of charges are OK in your book, you are in the wrong country.


Frederick Thomas - 5/4/2006

A surprisingly well-presented and well-researched response. The recital was masterly. I am impressed, but not convinced.

The Supremes, by overturning the conviction, voided it. Without a conviction, a "not guilty" verdict is constitutionally mandated.

True, AA may have violated some of its internal policies and common law document retention precedents, but did it commit RICO offenses, fraud and conspiracy on a grand scale as alleged? The Supremes apparently thought not.

Nothing which AA could have done balanced the destruction of this company, the loss of the jobs of its 28,000 employees, the effect on the economy, or the gross prosecutorial misconduct which was the proximate cause of the original "conviction." If those evil clowns file another charge, let us hope that they at least minimally observe our basic law in doing so.

As to Ms. Markham, it sounds to me as if she was doing her best to represent her client and position it for litigation. While that litigation was only a rumor, she tried to skate a line which is pretty indefinite at times. I have difficulty in faulting her as you do.

You point on fiduciary responsibilities for auditors is well taken. But recall that there are Federal laws and rules mandating destruction of documents under certain circumstances, and standards for release of confidential information, to preserve client privacy.

The Enron execs ar making an interesting defense. They claim that the squirreling of debt in subsidiaries was a risk management practice and that the fall of Enron resulted from deliberate Federal leaks which tanked the company on the stock market. I am not sure how this will succeed, but there is at least the core of an argument in it. You can bet that the trier of fact will be thinking about the SC ruling on AA.

Thanks again for your excellent summary.


Steve Broce - 5/2/2006

For almost two decades now, Federal prison sentences have been determined by the “sentencing guidelines” as promulgated by the US Sentencing Commission. These guidelines consist of a matrix that measures the severity of the crime and the defendant’s prior criminal acts, and then adds enhancements for “vulnerable victims” and such.

Until recently, these guidelines were more or less mandatory, requiring special findings by the Trial Judge for either an “upward departure”, as sentences higher than the guidelines were known and “downward departures”, as sentences less than the guidelines were known.

Recently the Supreme Court made the guidelines advisory, rather than mandatory, but in actual practice, Judges still rely heavily on the guidelines in meting out justice.

The message of the sentencing guidelines is this: if you steal a lot of money, you go away for a long time. If you steal from “vulnerable victims”, you go away even longer.

Take your complaint to the US Sentencing Commission, Jerry.


Steve Broce - 5/2/2006

Fred, you are correct, the SC did reverse. However, not before the Trial Judge had denied a motion to set aside the verdict and the Fifth Circuit had upheld the conviction. I understand that the Supreme Court gets the final word on the subject, but let’s not pretend that the issue involved, the wording of a jury instruction, was not a close call or that the prosecution was so out of line with their interpretation of the law. After all, the Trial Judge, the Jury and a group of very savvy Appellate Court Justices all agreed with the prosecution’s arguments. Tough luck for the prosecution that the Supreme Court didn’t agree.

By the way, Fred, if you really believe that “.. Arthur Anderse
n was found not guilty by the Supremes,”, as you posted, then you need to study up on the Law. The Supreme Court does not find people “guilty” or “not guilty”. The Supreme Court either affirms or overturns a conviction. Big difference. The Government could have retried the Corporation had they chosen.

In fact, if you haven’t read the Supreme Court decision, you really should. Especially since you seem to think that this was just a routine case of a Corporation executing it’s document shredding policy. The decision, even though it overturns the conviction, does not paint Andersen in a very favorable light, which is another fact, among many, that Markham glosses over.

To wit,

AA learned through a WSJ article of suspected improprieties at Enron and that an SEC investigation was likely.

AA thereafter formed a Enron “crisis response “team and began instructing AA employees to destroy Enron documents in accordance with AA documentation retention policy.

At a training meeting, an AA partner urged 89 employees, including 10 from the Enron engagement, to comply with the AA document retention policy, saying:

“[I]f it's destroyed in the course of [the] normal policy and litigation is filed the next day, that's great... . [W]e've followed our own policy, and whatever there was that might have been of interest to somebody is gone and irretrievable.”

A few days later, Nancy Temple, who Markham cries so many tears for, urged the partner on the Enron engagement to “remind the members of the Enron engagement team of our documentation retention policy”

A few days later, Temple e-mailed a copy of AA’s document retention policy to AA’ team of internal accounting experts. A few days after that, the “Enron crisis –response” team held a conference call in which Temple urged everyone to follow AA’s document retention policy. (this is surly a misnomer, as it should have been called the document destruction policy).

During this period, Enron document destruction occurred on a wholesale basis, with Enron document destruction parties going on in New York, London, Washington DC and Houston. Concerted efforts were also undertaken to destroy AA computer hard drive and e-mail records related to Enron.

What’s clear, Fred, is that Enron documents were not destroyed merely in routine compliance with AA documentation retention policy, but that AA, in it’s largest offices, formed “strike teams” (my words) to make special and extraordinary efforts to destroy ONLY Enron documents.

Furthermore, Fred, the shredding apparently VIOLATED AA own record retention policy, which states in relevant part: "in cases of threatened litigation, ... no related information will be destroyed" and that if AA is "advised of litigation or subpoenas regarding a particular engagement, the related information should not be destroyed.”

By way of background, Fred, I myself was a Certified Public Accountant and worked at one of the “Big Eight” accounting firms, as they were then known, (not AA) before leaving to pursue another career. I consider AA’s actions reprehensible, if not criminal.

One thing that Markham completely glossed over is the concept, unique in the professions, of an “Auditor’s independence”. This concept, which is part of the canon of ethics, recognizes the duty that an Auditor owes to the public users of any financial statements audited by the auditor. AA failed miserably in their duty to the public.


Charles S Young - 5/2/2006

If only the individuals, not the corporate body, are held responsible for things like massive shredding of Enron documents, then the corporation will not be detered from future crimes. Crushing AA provides a much higher degree of accountability and deterrence. The lesson of the corporate scandals is that the rot is far greater than just a few individuals. In a social enterprise, every cog plays a part, even the "honest and hardworking." You took dirty money, now take your medicine.

When the well-to-do start getting charged with crimes, suddenly they start discovering the social-environmental-it's-so-complicated -it's-the-over-zealous-media excuses for their behavior. If zero tolerance is good enough for the drug economy, its good enough for the main economy.


James Spence - 5/2/2006

This is a country of laws where you get what you pay for if you have enough money to buy yourself out of a crime. The only exception is when the President, who controls all branches of the government, decides to go after you no matter who you are.

Aside from the cut and paste in your post, it neglects a couple of hard facts, one that a Mr. Chapman noted in his here that Andersen continued to shred after they were subpoenaed. Apparently shredders also exist for those organizations lacking ethics. The other point is that the earlier conviction didn’t focus on document shredding, it was Mr. Temple's actions in altering a memo as the trigger point for conviction.

Not found guilty by the Supreme Court. Please. Not being found guilty in this country, especially a corp., doesn’t always mean innocence. 32,000 on the street - someone I know at Andersen said it was only 7000 but no matter, what are numbers when numbers are only people - casualties, like the people who trusted Andersen and Enron and lost their life savings. I know you’re smarter that this.

Perhaps our government and America’s corporations should be more like our pristine White House and follow their example. Or would that be the pot calling the kettle black. No not possible. But wait, Chertoff worked for Bush once. Apples fall so close from the same tree.

Regardless , what has happened is an indictment of all the corporate executives that value bonuses and stock options over good business for the customers they serve.


Charles S Young - 5/2/2006

Markham doesn't seem to argue for innocence, just that the executives are treated too aggressively by prosecutors.

My 50+ year old brother lost his entire retirement when Enron imploded, so I have no sympathy for the culprits. They devestated far more lives than any mugger, or John Lindt.

Perp walks, using multiple charges to pressure defendants to cooperate, plea deals -- techniques like these are the lifeblood of law enforcement. The rich should be exempt from them?

And the Ken Lays should not be sent to country club prisons. When most Americans go to prison, they are forced to trade sexual favors for protection. Only small-fry crooks should be subjected to this?

Either object to the harshness of jurisprudance in general, or drop it. But please, no special tears for the crooks whose devestation spans a continent rather than a neighborhood.


Frederick Thomas - 5/2/2006


At times, we do not read the articles but respond to comments, something I am at times guilty of. In this case the article is highly material.

What it describes is a group of unprofessional prosecutorial goons led by "Katrina" Chertoff himself using patently improper and illegal tactics such as wholesale arresting and terror-charging of lower employees, just like a Stalin show trial. Points:

"The Supreme Court later reversed Arthur Andersen’s conviction, but not in time to save it from destruction. Much outrage was expressed in the press over the 5,000 jobs lost at Enron, but little was said about the 28,000 jobs lost at Arthur Andersen as a result of the government’s misguided prosecution. "

"After slaughtering Arthur Andersen, the government turned to the Enron executives. Many were arrested and subjected to what became a ritual in the Enron era scandals—the “perp walk”— in which executives were paraded in handcuffs in front of the waiting press. There was no purpose for such treatment other than to degrade and humiliate those executives and to prejudice the jury pool."

"Once arrested, the fun really began. The government immediately started coercing lower level employees to “flip” by offering lenient sentences if they would testify against more senior executives. If that did not work, more charges were added so that the employee faced centuries of imprisonment. If that failed, the government started in on relatives."

What need do we have of a government which does such things, including mugging all of the investors and putting 32,000 mainly good people on the street? Why were the terrorist prosecutors not reigned in?

This is garbage law. And by the way, Arthus Anderson was found not guilty by the Supremes, despite the utter destruction of two large companies.

And of course, you are aware that all corporations destroy documents, quite legally, most of those because of federal requirements that they do so. That's why shredders exist.


Steve Broce - 5/2/2006

Markham’s description of Lea Fastow’s plight left out a few relevant facts. First, lest anyone think that Lea Fastow was a poor little housewife, sitting at home baking cookies, while her husband looted Enron, know this: Lea Fastow was the Assistant Treasurer at Enron and was a very financially savvy individual. She profited handsomely, along with her husband, from the fraud at Enron. She admitted in her guilty plea to knowing the true source of the “gift income”. That made her culpable at the time she signed the false tax return, and she was well aware of that fact.

Another thing; Markham described the indictment of Lea Fastow as being designed to “orphan” the Fastow children. This is nonsense. The plea agreement was specifically structured to allow the Fastows to serve their sentences at different times to allow one or the other parent to be out with the children while the other was serving their time.

By the way, despite Markham’s attempt to make us think that the Fastow’s got a raw deal from the Government, Judge Hittner, the US District Court Judge who presided over Lea Fastow’s case, was so incensed at the “sweet heart” deal that she got, that he rejected the original plea agreement, which called for her to serve a grand total of FIVE MONTHS in jail.

All my life I have marveled that the poor sap who walked into a bank and handed the teller a note demanding money was sentenced to 20 years for the few hundred dollars that he stole, while the white-collar criminal got 20 months for the few million that he stole.
It appears that is beginning to change.


Steve Broce - 5/2/2006

I’m not without sympathy for all of the honest folk who worked at AA and lost their jobs when AA was convicted. However, the document destruction that occurred at AA, in a clear attempt to hide what had occurred at Enron, occurred on an international scale.

Indicting corporations, as well as the individuals accused of wrong doing, is not unprecedented. Usually corporations under indictment negotiate some plea agreement, pay a fine and move on. AA chose to fight the charges and was convicted.

As for Enron being "far different matter than has been publicly described to date, and that most of the executives charged were within their rights and obligations", that is clearly wrong. The Enron investigation has resulted in numerous convictions and guilty pleas. The picture that has emerged is not one of “executives being within their rights and obligations”, but rather executives greedily grabbing what they could, all the while misleading company employees and the public in order to keep the house of cards from collapsing.


Lamar Bullard - 5/2/2006

you know these guys are too smart not to know what was going on and were afraid to speak up because they had too much to lose.
as for Ebbers he is guilty as charged.


Frederick Thomas - 5/1/2006


Now that the case against AA is kaputt, it begins to look as if Enron was a far different matter than has been publicly described to date, and that most of the executives charged were within their rights and obligations.

Perhaps the Feds should be prosecuted themselves, for abuse of office and maliciously creating unemployment. So much for the Hollywood myth of the valiant prosecutors and judges.

Nice to see some real history and perceptive legal and corporate commentary on HNN.


Jim C Kiley - 5/1/2006

All this is extremely unfortunate for the vast majority of honest employees. So maybe this would be a good thing for these executives to ponder while they rot. As for the would-be terrorists getting off easier, you're right. That was a mistake, but has no connection with the rest of your sad little story.


John Chapman - 5/1/2006

Poor Anderson, but don’t forget that the Enron collapse also impoverished thousands of middle-class workers. For the most part, high-level executives at Enron, as an example here, went from a net worth of $250 million down to $243 million - poor guys. Now they can only buy a 40 foot yacht instead of a 60 foot one.

My sympathy to the employees who were kept in the dark but in this specific case, accountability, or rather stupidity, still rests with Anderson. A memo on 12 October from one of the company's lawyers directed workers to destroy all audit material and then supervisors at Arthur Andersen repeatedly reminded their employees about the document-destruction memo in weeks leading up to the first Security and Exchange Commission subpoenas that were issued on Nov. 8. Any deliberate destruction of documents subject to subpoena is illegal.

I don’t always agree with Bush but his creation of an Enron Task Force at the Justice Department, political maneuver or not, was correct. It was high time that big corporations were held more accountable for their vague rules and regulations that seem to go mostly in their favor leaving the little people holding the short end of the stick.


Paul DeLeo - 5/1/2006

I am one of the 28,000 Arthur Andersen employees who lost their career with Andersen due to Chertoff's indictment of the company, not the people accused with wrongdoing. I agree with your assesment of the Bush administration's mishandling of this. They nuked Andersen; a company with 28,000 US employees (virtually all are honest, hardworking people) and annual revenues of 9 billion dollars. This was an unprecedented intentional destruction of jobs and capital.