X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
“Not guilty” — two words rarely heard in a Houston courtroom at the end of an Enron-related trial. In fact, when a jury pronounced Michael Krautz, an accountant in Enron’s failed broadband division, not guilty last month, it was only the second time a jury had acquitted an ex-Enron employee. Before the verdict came down, Krautz’s attorney, Barry Pollack, a partner at the D.C. office of Kelley Drye Collier Shannon, worried that the jury could have been swept up by the euphoria surrounding the convictions of Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling, Enron’s former chairman and chief financial officer, just six days earlier. “We were worried about the spillover effect,” says Pollack, explaining that the Lay and Skilling trial took place in the courtroom next door. On their third day of deliberations, the Krautz jurors walked past the Lay and Skilling jurors holding a press conference on the courthouse steps and hundreds of Houston residents lining the streets cheering the verdicts. On May 31, Krautz was acquitted of charges of fraud, conspiracy, and falsifying records, while his co-defendant, Kevin Howard, the former chief financial officer of Enron’s broadband division, was convicted of the same charges. Both men were first tried last year with three other executives from the broadband unit, but that trial ended in a hung jury. The government accused Howard and Krautz of conspiring to manufacture earnings for their division’s 2000 results by selling a right to future revenues of a video-on-demand business the company had started to a consortium of banks for an immediate payment. The government claimed they lied to the company’s auditors and others in order to convince them that the transaction fit within accounting rules that would allow Enron to book the earnings from the deal for the year 2000. Pollack says the jury pool had strong preconceived notions about anyone affiliated with the company. But the government’s evidence was so weak, Pollack says, that they couldn’t convict Krautz even in that environment.
Alexia Garamfalvi can be contacted at [email protected].

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.