Showing posts from January, 2009

Today in Plea Bargaining History - The Andrew Fastow Guilty Plea

Five years ago today, Andrew Fastow pleaded guilty to participation in crimes that contributed to the collapse of Enron. In his plea, Fastow admitted to disguising Enron's deteriorating financial health and engaging in a scheme to defraud the company of millions of dollars for his own benefit. Fastow also entered into an agreement to surrender more than $23 million to the SEC to settle related civil charges. Fastow's plea agreement was the beginning of the end for the Enron conspirators. On January 22, 2004, Richard Causey, former Enron Chief Accounting Officer, was charged with being "a principal architect" of a scheme to mislead investors. On February 19, Jeff Skilling, former Enron CEO, was indicted on 35 counts of fraud, insider trading, and conspiracy. Finally, on July 18, Ken Lay, Enron founder and former CEO, was indicted on eleven counts of conspiracy, making misleading statements, wire fraud, bank fraud, and securities fraud. In early 2005, Causey pleaded gu

Remembering Judge Griffin B. Bell - Carter's Attorney General and Creator of the Special Matters Team at King & Spalding LLP

It is with great sadness that we learned today of the death of Griffin B. Bell, an individual aptly named by the New York Times as the “dean of Georgia lawyers.” Judge Bell’s influence in the law extends well beyond Georgia of course. In particular, his reputation of strong principles and independence led him to be a popular choice for internal investigations and an attorney who shaped this ever growing area of the law. As the New York Times noted today, his reputation was such that he established a Special Matters practice at King & Spalding to handle such assignments. It is as a member of the King & Spalding Special Matters Team that I was able to meet Judge Bell and, during my final year with the firm, even had the pleasure of having an office just down the hallway from the former Attorney General. I will remember most his Southern style and his gift for quickly boiling down complex issues to the core. He was always a provider of thoughtful guidance, and he will be missed. T

Number of Corporate Settlements with the DOJ Spikes

According to the Washington Post , the DOJ has reached more than a dozen business-related settlements since November. The climate for business settlements could grow more harsh when Obama appointees seize the reins at the Justice Department, corporate lawyers say. They point to statements by Attorney General-designate Eric H. Holder Jr., who told an audience last month that he would expand the focus of federal prosecutors into corporate suites. A review of 15 agreements involving corporations since early November suggests that much of the alleged misconduct dates back five years or more, provoking questions about why the cases took so long to mature and why resolutions are coming with only weeks left in President Bush's term. . . Justice Department officials said there is nothing unusual about end-of-year settlements. They defend their record in investigating and prosecuting corporate misdeeds. In recent weeks, they announced indictments against five Blackwater Worldwide securit