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Enron Accountants' Case Up for Review

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emad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 09:58 AM
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Enron Accountants' Case Up for Review

WASHINGTON The Supreme Court agreed Friday to consider overturning the criminal conviction of the defunct accounting firm Arthur Andersen for having shredded more than two tons of documents as federal investigators began to look into the collapse of Enron Corp.

Andersen, Enron's auditor, was one of the fabled Big Five accounting firms before it was fined $500,000 about three years ago and subsequently went out of business. The government's prosecution and the jury's guilty verdict sent a message that even a venerable and respected company could be harshly punished if it tried to obstruct an investigation.

The firm's partners have continued to challenge the conviction as part of their defense against scores of pending civil lawsuits.

In something of a surprise, the justices granted review of the case over the strong objections of Bush administration lawyers. The appeal focuses on the words in federal law making it a crime to "corruptly obstruct" an "official proceeding" by persuading others to lie or hide evidence.
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UpInArms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:09 AM
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1. objections from the *Co lawyers?


Our correspondent says that, almost as embarrassing for Mr Cheney is a promotional videotape he made praising the now disgraced accounting firm Andersen.

The video, which fell into the hands of the Wall Street Journal, was made in 1996 when Mr Cheney was at Halliburton and showed his personal relationship with Andersen.

In it, he describes how Andersen gave advice "over and above" what would normally be expected from auditors.

In a short section of the video, Mr Cheney says: "I get good advice, if you will, from their people, based upon how we are doing business and how we are operating, over and above the normal, by-the-books auditing arrangement."

Last month, Andersen was convicted of obstructing justice by shredding documents relating to the failed US energy giant Enron.

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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:35 AM
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2. The "strong objections of Bush administration lawyers" are pro forma.
Edited on Sat Jan-08-05 10:38 AM by TahitiNut
The Supreme Court is being asked to review/overturn a 5th Circuit judgment on appeal in favor of "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in the original matter of "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. ARTHUR ANDERSEN LLP" tried before a jury in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

It would be highly unusual for the prevailing party to not oppose such a writ, and I believe the Department of Justice procedures require filing the response in opposition. The real question might be whether the response is well-grounded or is intentionally "taking a bullet" for the corporatist cabal. IANAL, so I can't really say, but a layman's persual of the DOJ brief indicates to me that the response is not overtly weak.

Judge for yourself ...

IMO, the stench of corruption is in the USSC's acceptance of the writ - and there's nothing at all remarkable about the obligatory DOJ opposition.
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