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It’s just a white-collar crime trial. But in many ways, the long-awaited trial of former Enron Corp. Chairman Kenneth Lay and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Skilling is much more than a routine criminal case important only to the defendants and a handful of lawyers trying it. It may not be the single most important trial to ever take place in the Bob Casey U.S. Courthouse in downtown Houston, but the significance of the big event goes far beyond the future of Lay and Skilling, who face fraud and conspiracy charges. Lawyers are interested in watching the courtroom show. Thousands of Enron employees who lost their jobs and retirement security when the energy company filed for bankruptcy in December 2001 want to know who to blame for their misfortune. Business executives look to the trial as a way to figure out how a company as large and innovative as Enron could sink in a wave of near-worthless stock. And Lay and Skilling’s criminal trial has become a feeding ground for reporters looking for a new angle on the fall of Enron, which was the impetus for national corporate governance reform. “It will be interesting,” says Houston plaintiffs lawyer Tommy Fibich, who has practiced in Houston for more than 30 years. “We’ve had some big trials here, but I don’t think I’ve seen one that’s had this much anticipation nationwide.” “This trial is huge,” says Philip Hilder, a criminal-defense lawyer in Houston. “It’s certainly in our time the most significant white-collar trial. With the Enron collapse, there was much international attention and this is like the culmination. It’s the end of the saga.” Others disagree with the importance of the Lay-Skilling trial. “It will be an extra-ordinary trial, but it won’t be an extraordinary trial. Fatty Arbuckle, O.J. Simpson � it’s always the “Trial of the Century,’ ” says William G. Rosch III, a partner in Rosch & Ross in Houston. “Enron is a business case. It’s significant, but at the end of the day, I don’t think it will be as long lasting as a Texas murder,” says Joel Androphy, a trial lawyer in Houston. “It will always be secondary to murder cases. Houston is the murder trial capital of the world.” Lay and Skilling may testify during the trial, which is expected to last for four months or more, with dozens of reporters in town for the trial and live trucks for local television outlets and networks assigned permanent spots along Rusk Avenue near the courthouse. Michael Ramsey, a solo practitioner in Houston who is Lay’s lead defense attorney, says his client will testify unless the Enron Task Force “falls flat on its face” and makes his client’s testimony unnecessary. Skilling’s attorney, Daniel Petrocelli, a partner in O’Melveny & Myers in Century City, Calif., says his client wants to take the witness stand. “He is one of the only people, from the outset, [who] testified in all investigative proceedings. . . . I doubt he could stop now,” Petrocelli says, in reference to Skilling’s testimony in February 2002 at a congressional hearing on Enron. Lay and Skilling are among a small group of high-profile U.S. business executives who have faced white-collar crime charges over the past few years, with homemaking diva Martha Stewart perhaps the most prominent of the crew. In 2004, Stewart, the founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, was convicted of charges she lied to government investigators about ImClone stock she sold in 2001. She was sentenced to five months in prison and five months of home arrest. In Houston, Lay and Skilling will walk into a federal courthouse that is located just a few blocks from the 50-story Enron Center skyscraper, where they once reigned as powerful executives at Enron. Voir dire begins Jan. 30. U.S. District Judge Sim Lake has asked 100 prospective jurors, who have already been prescreened with a jury questionnaire, to report to the courthouse. Lay and Skilling say they can’t get a fair trial in Houston, but in 2005, and again Jan. 23, Lake turned down their requests for a change of venue. “The court is not persuaded that the evidence or arguments urged by defendants in support of the pending motion establish that pretrial publicity and/or community prejudice raise a presumption of inherent jury prejudice in this case,” Lake wrote in an order Jan. 23. So, Jan. 25, Lay and Skilling tried again for a change of venue, this time appealing to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. They filed a motion seeking a writ of mandamus requiring a change of venue to a location such as Phoenix, Denver or Atlanta. Lay and Skilling allege in the motion that Lake abused his discretion for denying their change of venue motions. The grounds, they claim, are that he disregarded the evidentiary record “which overwhelmingly establishes there is a reasonable likelihood of prejudice to defendants if tried in this venue,” applied an “outdated, overly rigid notion of venue transfer” and failed to hold an evidentiary hearing. They also asked Lake to stay the trial until the 5th Circuit can consider the writ of mandamus, but Jan. 26, Lake turned down their request for a stay. Setting the Stage The indictment in United States v. Jeffrey K. Skilling, et al. brings 35 counts of conspiracy, wire fraud, securities fraud, insider trading and making false statements to auditors against Skilling, although prosecutors have indicated in court filings that they may drop four of the counts. At trial, Lay will face a total of seven counts of conspiracy, wire fraud and securities fraud. Lake has scheduled a separate trial for Lay on one count of bank fraud and three counts of making false statements to banks. Lay and Skilling have each pleaded not guilty to the charges. Their former co-defendant, former Enron Chief Accounting Officer Richard Causey, pleaded guilty Dec. 28, 2005, to securities fraud. His plea bargain calls for an 84-month sentence. Causey had earlier pleaded not guilty to 34 charges, including conspiracy, insider trading and securities fraud. The indictment alleges Lay and Skilling “engaged in a wide-ranging scheme” to deceive investors, including Enron shareholders and the Securities and Exchange Commission, about the true performance of Enron by manipulating public financial reports, making “false and misleading” public statements about the company’s financial performance, and failing to disclose facts that would make those statements and representations fair and accurate. Ramsey says it’s inaccurate to say Lay made statements he knew were not true. “He acted in absolutely good faith when he spoke,” Ramsey says. “He did make optimistic statements. That’s expected of a cheerleading CEO. He fought a good fight [to save Enron]. He does not look back with regret on anything he said,” Ramsey says. In December 2005, at a public speech to businesspeople in Houston, Lay spent much of his talk criticizing the tactics of the Enron Task Force, and he blamed many of Enron’s problems on what he called the criminal activities of Andrew Fastow, Enron’s former chief financial officer. Fastow has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud and awaits sentencing. [ See "Former Enron Chairman Urges Witnesses to Step Forward,"Texas Lawyer , Dec. 19, 2005, page 1.] Fastow is on the government’s witness list. So is Ben Glisan, the former Enron treasurer who is serving a five-year prison term. In 2003, Glisan pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and securities fraud, but at the time he did not agree to cooperate with prosecutors. Sherron Watkins, Enron’s vice president for corporate development who famously warned Lay about possible financial problems, is also on the government’s list. Her attorney, Houston’s Philip Hilder, expects Watkins to take the stand. Causey is not on the government’s witness list. Mark Hulkower, a partner in Steptoe & Johnson in Washington, D.C., and a defense attorney for Causey, did not return a telephone call seeking comment before presstime on Jan. 26. It’s not clear why the government has not placed Causey on its witness list. Sean Berkowitz, director of the Enron Task Force, declines comment on trial specifics. The defendants’ joint witness list is broader and larger, and it includes other Enron employees who struck plea deals with federal prosecutors. Those include Michael Kopper, a former Enron managing director who pleaded guilty in 2002 to two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering, implicated his ex-boss Fastow and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. The defense list also includes Sheila Kahanek, a former Enron employee who was acquitted in 2004 in United States v. Daniel Bayly, et al., the so-called Nigerian Barge trial. In the verdict returned Nov. 3, a 12-member jury found Kahanek not guilty of charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and to falsify books and records. [ See "Self Defense,"Texas Lawyer , Nov. 15, 2004, page 1.] Simplicity Is Key The federal prosecution will need to “keep it simple” and portray the case as an effort to defraud the investing public, says Hilder. “The defense is going to try to pull this case into the weeds and make this an accounting case and inject as much confusion and technicality into the trial as possible in order to argue later to the jury that, if you don’t understand the transactions, then the government hasn’t proved their case,” says Hilder, of Hilder & Associates. He says the defense attorneys will likely point to Fastow as “being the root of evil” at Enron and claim they did not know what was happening at the company and they relied on advice from lawyers and accountants. The prosecutors will need to use testimony and financial statements to show Lay and Skilling knew their statements to the public were misleading, he says. Androphy says the prosecutors must prove Lay and Skilling were “within the culpable range � not that they knew everything, but they were in the zone of culpability.” He says the defense attorneys will likely harp on a theme throughout the trial. “The theme may be, for example, “Why would these gentlemen build such an empire, only to allow it to be destroyed?’ ” says Androphy, a partner in Berg & Androphy. Androphy says jury selection is key. “You can try the best case in the world, do the best cross-examination, have the best witnesses, but if you don’t have a jury that’s going to be open-minded . . . then you are going to fail,” he says. A spokeswoman for the Enron Task Force declines to say whether the government is using jury consultants. Lay’s jury consultant is Robert Hirschhorn of Cathy Bennett & Associates in Lewisville. Skilling’s lawyers are using Reiko Hasuike, of RandD Strategic Solutions in California. Hasuike declines comment, according to a woman who answered a phone at RandD’s office in Houston. Generally speaking, Hirschhorn says, criminal-defense lawyers in business litigation cases want business-savvy, sophisticated jurors, but in the Enron case, those people are the ones who read the news and know more about Enron. “That’s why in my view, it’s going to take true artistry and intuition for picking this jury, especially when the judge says he’s going to do most, if not all, of the questioning,” Hirschhorn says. War Rooms Lawyers on both sides are geared up for battle. Defense teams for Lay and Skilling are working in war rooms located close to the federal courthouse � Lay’s is in the Rice Lofts and Skilling’s is in the Bank of America Center. Defense attorneys for Lay and Skilling won’t put a dollar value on the cost of the defense, other than to say each is spending in the many millions of dollars. Ramsey, Lay’s lead defense attorney, says he will likely deliver opening statements. During the trial, he will question some witnesses, primarily on cross-examination. Also, he says, George “Mac” Secrest, a partner in Bennett & Secrest in Houston, and Dallas lawyers Bruce Collins and Shawn Cleveland, partner and associate respectively in Carrington, Coleman, Sloman & Blumenthal, will question witnesses. Petrocelli, Skilling’s lead counsel, says he will handle the opening, and he will question witnesses, along with his partners, M. Randall Oppenheimer of Century City, Calif., and Mark Holscher of Los Angeles, and Ronald Woods, a Houston solo practitioner who is a former U.S. attorney in the Southern District of Texas. [ See "The Players in the Lay-Skilling Trial," page 19.] The Enron Task Force has an office within the federal courthouse, and the prosecutors � all from out of town � are living in apartments or hotels. No one from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District is on the prosecution team; in early 2002 then-U.S. Attorney Michael Shelby withdrew his office from the Enron investigation because of potential conflicts. Berkowitz, the director of the Enron Task Force, says John Hueston, an assistant U.S. attorney on the task force, will likely give the opening. Berkowitz also says he and Hueston, and Kathryn Ruemmler, the task force’s deputy director, and Cliff Stricklin, another assistant U.S. attorney, will question witnesses. Stricklin is the lone Texan on the government’s trial team. He joined the task force a year ago, after losing a re-election bid in 2004 for judge of Dallas County Criminal Court No. 2. Prior to becoming a judge, Stricklin was an assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Texas, where he became friends with Matthew Friedrich, a former member of the Enron Task Force. Stricklin says he visited with Friedrich in Washington, D.C., following the 2004 election, and he ended up interviewing for a job with the task force. Stricklin says it shouldn’t matter to the jury that he’s from Texas. “I have never thought where the attorneys are from makes a bit of difference with the jury. What matters is how you present the evidence,” he says. But Matt Orwig, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District who got to know Stricklin when both were prosecutors working in the Plano office, says it helps that Stricklin has “Texas sensibilities.” “Cliff knows juries and he has a good sense of people he got as a prosecutor, running for office as a judge, and he’s got experience,” Orwig says. “He’s been through this before. It’s not his first rodeo.” While Ramsey is a lawyer in Houston, Petrocelli is from California. While wanting a change of venue, Petrocelli says he has grown to like Houston and says the people are “very warm, very friendly.” He’s also getting comfortable wearing the cowboy boots his father-in-law gave him for a Christmas present. The Texas-ness of the lawyers may or may not be a factor at trial, says Richard Waites, a jury consultant with The Advocates in Houston. “Those things are not as important as they used to be, but they are still very important,” he says. Fair Lake U.S. District Judge David Hittner of the Southern District offers unabashed praise about Lake, who will preside over the Lay-Skilling trial. “He is extremely competent. When he speaks we all listen,” Hittner says. Twelve Texas lawyers interviewed for this article say Lake will give Lay and Skilling an orderly and fair trial. “He is a truly dedicated federal judge that takes his job as seriously as anybody that I’ve ever seen before. He’s just tremendously fair,” says Fibich, a partner in Fibich Hampton & Leebron. Before then-President Ronald Reagan appointed Lake to the bench in 1988, he had been an environmental litigator and partner in the Houston office of Fulbright & Jaworski. According to the Houston Bar Association’s annual judicial preference poll released in May 2005, 250 lawyers gave Lake nearly 70 percent or higher approval ratings for following the law, treating attorneys courteously, fairness, efficiency, and hard work and preparedness. Only one of his eight colleagues in Houston, U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal, received a higher rating. Lake, who plans to hold trial in the Lay-Skilling case four days a week, keeps his docket running. As of Sept. 30, 2005, Lake had no civil cases pending for more than three years and no motions pending for more than six months, according to Texas Lawyer’s annual Slowpoke Report. In comparison, U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon of Houston � who has presided over much of the Enron-related civil litigation as well as the 2002 criminal trial of Arthur Andersen, Enron’s former accounting firm � had 75 civil cases pending for more than three years and one motion pending for more than six months. [ See "The Slowpoke Report: Hurricane Rita Hampers Hand-Downs,"Texas Lawyer, Jan. 2, 2006, page 1.] Even lawyers who don’t approve of every decision Lake has made in the Lay-Skilling case so far maintain he plays it straight from the bench. Charles Blau, a partner in Dallas’ Meadows, Owens, Collier, Reed, Cousins & Blau, represents a client who testified for the defense in the Enron Broadband trial. Blau believes Enron Task Force prosecutors treated his client aggressively, and he expresses support for a motion Lay and Skilling filed in September 2005 seeking to dismiss the charges against them based on prosecutorial misconduct. In that filing, the defendants argued that prosecutors attempted to intimidate witnesses and prevent them from assisting the defendants. But at a hearing on the motion in December 2005, Lake ruled that he heard no evidence of prosecutorial misconduct in the testimony of two Houston lawyers. Lake later denied the motion. [ See "Baggage Check: Next Trial True Test for Enron Task Force,"Texas Lawyer , Jan. 9, 2006, page 1.] While Blau doesn’t agree with Lake’s ruling, he says he accepts it, because the judge always sets a fair tone in his courtroom. “He’s just that kind of judge,” says Blau. But Lake also has built a reputation for handing down tough sentences in white-collar crime cases. In 2004, Lake sentenced former Dynegy Inc. finance executive Jamie Olis to 24 years in prison for his role in an operation in 2001 to disguise debt as cash flow. In 2005, the 5th Circuit threw out the sentence as unreasonable, but Olis’ re-sentencing before Lake is pending. Terry Yates, a lawyer who represented Olis at trial and a partner in Houston’s Yates Law Offices, says, “The judge [Lake] was right down the middle, as fair as you could find.” Mark Clark, a shareholder in Brown Sims in Houston who represented Olis at trial, declines comment and refers questions to David Gerger of David Gerger & Associates in Houston, who represented Olis at the sentencing hearing and on subsequent appeals. Gerger did not return two telephone calls before presstime. Lake has issued other controversial rulings. In 1999, Lake sided with Marian Ward, a senior in the Santa Fe Independent School District who wanted to pray at school football games. Lake granted a temporary order in Robert Ward, et al. v. Santa Fe Independent School District, allowing Ward to lead fans in prayer, even though the 5th Circuit had earlier ruled in a similar case to ban student-led prayer at high school football games. Douglas Laycock, an associate dean at the University of Texas School of Law, who represented the plaintiffs in the earlier school-prayer suit before the Supreme Court, Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe, says because Lake’s ruling was based on free-speech principles, it “never bothered me much.” He also notes, free speech is “wholly unrelated to anything that will arise in the Enron case.” A Chicago native, born in 1944, Lake graduated from Texas A&M University in 1966 and from the University of Texas School of Law three years later. He is married and has two grown sons. Fibich says Lake will be able to control the courtroom, despite the “giant egos” of the seasoned lawyers involved in the trial and the persistent news coverage. Fibich says Lake was a “fair and honest” litigator when he tried suits for Fulbright, and he has maintained those qualities. Stephen Dillard, a partner in Fulbright who worked side-by-side with Lake while he was at the firm, says he believes Lake enjoys the intellectual challenge of being a federal trial judge. Certainly, Dillard says, becoming a judge wasn’t to reduce his workload. He says that Lake will schedule status conferences as early as 7:30 a.m. and as late as 4:30 p.m., even on Fridays, which proves to lawyers that he’s a hard worker. Hittner says the Lay-Skilling trial will be a “great challenge” for Lake, but he expects Lake’s sense of humor to bring a bit of levity to some of the complex financial testimony related to the allegations in the indictment. Lawyers as Witnesses Houston-based Vinson & Elkins was Enron’s go-to outside firm, so it’s not surprising to V&E partner John Murchison that five of his partners, including managing partner Joe Dilg, are on the defense witness list. With 730 lawyers firmwide, V&E gained notoriety in the Enron context for producing a report for Lay in the fall of 2001 that investigated allegations about financial irregularities at Enron raised by Watkins, then Enron’s vice president for corporate development whose supervisor was Fastow. It makes sense, Murchison says, that Lay and Skilling might consider calling V&E lawyers to the stand to demonstrate for the jury that the high-level executives regularly sought advice from lawyers. Murchison, along with outside lawyers from Washington, D.C.’s Williams & Connolly, represents his firm in civil litigation stemming from the collapse of Enron, including the massive shareholder securities class action, Newby, et al. v. Enron Corp. et al. pending in Harmon’s court in Houston. In addition to Dilg, V&E partners Ron Astin, Max Hendrick, Mark Spradling and Patrina Chandler as well as former partner Bob Baird are on the defense’s joint witness list. All six lawyers advised Enron prior to its bankruptcy in December 2001. Astin, Hendrick, Dilg and Chandler did not return telephone calls before presstime. Spradling refers questions to Murchison, and a current telephone number for Baird, who retired from the firm Dec. 31, 2005, could not be located. But Murchison says the appearance of those names on the witness list does not necessarily mean they will testify. “Those witness lists don’t indicate any probability,” he says. Petrocelli says it’s too early to say if defense lawyers will call V&E lawyers to the stand. “From our standpoint, whatever transactions or statements they [prosecutors] will attack, there will be a large number of people who will have knowledge about the transaction, who may have evidence,” he says. Blau says the subject of whether any testimony on the part of V&E lawyers would violate attorney-client privilege would certainly arise, if the partners took the stand. “It would undergo a subject-by-subject analysis and then a question-by-question analysis,” says Blau. Since Enron, the corporation, was V&E’s client, the company would have to waive its attorney-client privilege, Blau says. If the conversations are covered by attorney-client privilege and the client doesn’t waive the privilege, one way the lawyers could still testify without violating their professional obligations is if the judge found that all the conversations were held in connection with a crime, so they would fall under the crime-fraud exception to the attorney-client privilege. Most likely, Blau believes, the lawyers would be careful about testifying. “If they value their law license, they are never going to testify without some type of permission from their client,” Blau says. But Petrocelli and Ramsey are keen on obtaining some testimony given by Astin, and they have filed motions with Lake fighting Astin’s efforts to quash a subpoena in the Lay-Skilling case seeking testimony he gave in to the SEC in connection with that agency’s investigation of Enron. The SEC supports Astin’s effort to keep the testimony private, arguing in a letter filed with the court that its investigation “is ongoing and remains nonpublic.” William Murphy, a partner in Baltimore’s Murphy & Schaffer and a white-collar criminal-defense lawyer who represents Astin, declines comment. Murchison says V&E has not assigned anyone to attend the Enron trial. He believes the criminal charges against Lay and Skilling are “pretty disconnected” from the civil litigation. A plaintiffs’ lawyer in Newby, Roger Greenberg, a partner in Houston’s Schwartz, Junell, Greenberg & Oathout, agrees the matters are distinct. “The civil case and criminal are separate, and V&E is not a [criminal] defendant, but to the extent that the partners testify, it may be used by the plaintiffs and other defendants in the civil case.” Greenberg adds, “The civil case does not rise or fall on the outcome of the criminal case.” V&E lawyers are not the only Enron attorneys on the defense witness list. It also includes at least five of the 250 in-house lawyers who at one time worked for Enron, including James Derrick, the former general counsel. Derrick, who was a partner in V&E before he joined Enron, did not return a telephone call seeking comment. But Derrick and his former V&E partners may never testify. In all the Enron-related criminal trials that have preceded the Lay-Skilling trial, the lawyers have not been called as witnesses.
The Players in the Lay-Skilling Trial The Judge U.S. District Judge Sim Lake, Houston Appointed to the bench in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan. Previously a partner in Houston’s Fulbright & Jaworski, where he litigated environmental suits. According to the Houston Bar Association’s poll issued in May 2005, Lake received a 70 percent approval rating from the 250 lawyers who participated in the survey. Ken Lay’s Defense Team Lead defense attorney: Michael Ramsey, solo practitioner, Houston Past clients: In 2003, Ramsey helped win acquittal for Robert Durst, the New York millionaire charged with murdering his 71-year-old neighbor. Also in 2003, Ramsey negotiated a plea bargain for Austin solo practitioner Marc Murr, who was indicted along with former Texas Attorney General Dan Morales in an alleged plan to obtain for Murr some contingent-fee money from the litigation Texas filed against tobacco companies in 1996. In 1998, Ramsey won an acquittal in state court for Robert Angleton, a former Houston bookie and police informant indicted under the federal murder-for-hire statute in connection with the 1997 murder of his wife. Defense attorneys: Chip Lewis, solo practitioner, Houston Bruce Collins, partner, Carrington, Coleman, Sloman & Blumenthal, Dallas George “Mac” Secrest, partner, Bennett & Secrest, Houston Jeff Skilling’s Defense Team Lead defense attorney: Daniel Petrocelli, partner, O’Melveny & Myers, Century City, Calif. Past clients: In 1997, represented Fred Goldman, Ron Goldman’s father, in a wrongful-death suit filed against O.J. Simpson and won a $33.5 million verdict. Defense attorneys: Ronald G. Woods, solo practitioner, Houston Matthew T. Kline, counsel, O’Melveny & Myers, Century City, Calif. M. Randall Oppenheimer, partner, O’Melveny & Myers, Century City, Calif. Mark Holscher, partner, O’Melveny & Myers, Los Angeles Enron Task Force Trial Team Lead prosecutors: Sean M. Berkowitz, director, Enron Task Force; former assistant U.S. attorney, Northern District of Illinois; joined task force in December 2003. Past prosecution: Berkowitz prosecuted a securities fraud case against officers of Anicom Inc. in Chicago in 2003. Kathryn Ruemmler, deputy director, Enron Task Force; former assistant U.S. attorney, District of Columbia; joined task force in September 2003. Past prosecution: Ruemmler worked on United States v. Daniel Bayly, et al., also known as the Enron Broadband trial, which ended in a mistrial in 2005. John Hueston, assistant U.S. attorney; formerly assigned to the Central District of California; joined task force in January 2004. Past prosecution: In 2003, in Los Angeles and Carson, Calif., Hueston prosecuted 10 defendants in a political corruption case relating to the award of $60 million in waste-disposal contracts. Cliff Stricklin, assistant U.S. attorney; former Dallas County Criminal Court No. 2 judge; joined task force in January 2005. Past prosecutions: Stricklin prosecuted public corruption and white-collar crime cases as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Plano office of the Eastern District of Texas, and was also on the Enron Broadband prosecution team. Prosecutors: Robb Adkins, assistant U.S. attorney; formerly assigned to the Central District of California; joined task force in June 2005. Past prosecution: In 2003 and 2004, in Santa Ana, Calif., Adkins prosecuted a case against government contractors charged with illegally shredding immigration documents. Leo Wise, assistant U.S. attorney; formerly a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice where he worked on the Tobacco Litigation Team; joined task force in June 2005. Past prosecution: In 2004 and 2005, Wise worked on United States v. Philip Morris, et al., the suit against the cigarette industry, which was the largest civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act case ever filed by the government. Andrew Stolper, assistant U.S. attorney; formerly assigned to the Central District of California; joined task force in December 2005. Past prosecution: Stolper coordinated corporate fraud efforts in the Orange County office. Source: Interviews with lawyers, public information and Enron Task Force.

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