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Ken Lay- Founder of Enron

Jeff Skilling- CEO

Andy Fastow- CFO
“The Smartest Guys in the Room”

Throughout the story pay attention to the ticker listing the date and stock price. Keep timeline below:

1/21 8/16 8/23/ 10/15


$17.20 $36 $90 $19

  1. What is “mark-to-market” accounting?

Book future profits before they occurred

  1. Name two of the five “watchdogs”.

A. Stock analysts B. lawyers C. bankers D. SEC E. accountants

  1. Explain the working environment of Enron under Skilling’s management.

Cut-throat. Believed in Darwinism. PRC Performance Rating Committee, employees rated employees.

  1. How much money did Lu Pi leave Enron with?

$250 million

  1. What was the broadband business supposed to provide?

Movies on demand

  1. What is “structured finance”?

Covering up a company’s debts and making the company look like it was making large profit

  1. By law, accountants have responsibility to ensure what?

That the financial reports are honest.

  1. Executives in Enron pumped up stock prices and keep money through stock options.

  1. Stock options were a hidden cost that never showed up on what financial statement? Balance Sheet

  1. What is FASB set up to do?

Set accounting standards; tried to close the options loophole

  1. What was the “long-running” cover-up that Arthur Anderson allowed?

Allowed companies to publish financials knowing there were mistakes as long as the company would correct them in the future.

  1. In the late 1990’s big firms turned to “consulting”. Why is it considered a conflict of interest to have the big firms providing consulting services?

Lose big clients if the audit report were bad.

  1. What agency gave in to trying to stop outside consulting by the auditing firms? SEC

  1. Why was Bass removed from the Enron Account?

Tried to uphold accounting standards with strict audits.

  1. How did traders make money off California power?

Created artificial blackouts by shutting down power plants; gaining from increased prices of energy

  1. How much money did the energy crisis cost the state of California?

$30 billion

  1. What are some things Sharon Watkins’ memo said to Ken Lay?

Warned about incorrectness of accounting; fraudulent activities.

  1. How much money did Andy Fastow make with the LJM partnership?

$45 Million

  1. What happened on December 4, 2001?

Enron filed bankruptcy.

  1. After his trial, what was Andy Fastow’s sentence?

Forfeit $23 million in assets; 10 years prison

  1. How many people lost their jobs when Arthur Anderson fell?


  1. Did Ken Lay ever end up going to jail? Why or Why not?

No, died. (As of 4/2007 Lay’s estate was being sued. Lay’s wife said she should get estate worth $13 million. Over the course of criminal activity, Lay received $99 million.)

  1. Why shouldn't accounting standards be moved into political or commercial environment?

Loss of control of whether standards are the “best” standards.

Prosecution Scorecard

Criminal defendants

Total: 34
Guilty pleas: 16

Ben Glisan, Jr.

5 years

Lea Fastow

1 year

Andrew Fastow

6 years (doesn’t agree with video)

Richard Causey

5 years 6 months

Michael Kopper

3 years 1 month

Mark Koenig

18 months plus probation

Paula Rieker

2 years probabion

Timothy Belden

Awaiting sentencing

(Trading floor supervisor)

Jeffrey Richter

Awaiting sentencing

Lawrence Lawyer

2 years probation

Dave Delainey

2 years 6 months

Ken Rice

Awaiting sentencing

Kevin Hannon

Awaiting sentencing

John Forney

Awaiting sentencing

Timothy Despain

4 years probation

Christopher Calger

Awaiting sentencing

Jury Conviction: 5

Ken Lay, Died before sentencing, conviction vacated Jeff Skilling, 24 years 4 months in prision

Dan Boyle, 3 years 10 months James Brown, 3 years, 10 months

Acquittal: 2;

Shelia Kahanek, not guilty Michael Krautz, found not guilty in second trial

Conviction overturned: 2

Arthur Anderson, Government won’t retry Kevin Howard, Judge orders five convictions overturned

Case dropped: 1

David Duncan, plea and charge withdrawn

In limbo: 2

Robert Furst, Conviction overturned on appeal Daniel Bayly, Conviction overturned on appeal

Others charged: 8 Broadband Division
British Bankers

Gary Mulgrew, Extradited, awaiting trial David Bermingham, Extradited, awaiting trial

Giles Darby, Extradited, awaiting trial (

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