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Five former executives from Enron Corp.’s defunct broadband unit whose trial ended with jurors unable to reach verdicts on most charges will be retried in three separate cases next year. Nearly two months ago a jury returned acquittals on some charges after a three-month trial but was deadlocked on dozens more. U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore declared a mistrial on those charges and set retrial dates Monday. At least one of the trials, involving conspiracy and fraud counts against the broadband unit’s former finance chief and a former in-house accountant, was scheduled for May 1. It is likely to overlap with the conspiracy and fraud trial of Enron founder Kenneth Lay and former CEO Jeffrey Skilling, set to begin in January in a courtroom next door to Gilmore’s. The other two cases were scheduled for June 5 and Sept. 5. All five broadband defendants, as well as Lay and Skilling, have pleaded innocent. Barry Pollack, who represents former in-house Enron broadband accountant Michael Krautz, questioned whether a a fair jury could be found in the middle of the publicity of the ongoing Lay and Skilling trial. “I have concerns about selecting a jury for this case while that trial is going on,” he told Gilmore. The judge advised him to argue the point later. The five men, indicted in 2003, went to trial in April in a case often bogged down with tedious, jargon-filled testimony about whether Enron’s broadband network actually worked as touted to investors and analysts in 1999 and 2000. The unit went bankrupt along with its parent in December 2001. A conspiracy charge linked all five defendants in two alleged schemes involving technology and finance. On the finance side, jurors were deadlocked on all 15 counts of conspiracy and fraud pending against Krautz and Kevin Howard, former finance chief of the broadband unit. The two men are accused of using accounting tricks to manufacture income for the broadband unit so its losses would match those announced to Wall Street in 2000. On the technology side, former broadband unit CEO Joseph Hirko, software head Rex Shelby and broadband strategist F. Scott Yeager were charged with conspiracy, fraud, insider trading and money laundering. The government alleged they touted capabilities of the network and its operating software to pump up Enron stock and get rich from selling inflated shares. All three testified that the network and software worked but was being implemented in phases. Jurors acquitted Hirko of 14 of the 27 charges — two for insider trading, the other dozen for money laundering. They acquitted Shelby of four insider trading counts. Shelby’s lawyer, Ed Tomko, said that left 16 charges unresolved, including six for insider trading. Both men remain charged with conspiracy and fraud. Gilmore scheduled their trial for Sept. 5. Yeager faces the most charges. The jury acquitted him of the conspiracy charge linking him to the other defendants and five fraud counts, leaving 109 counts of insider trading and money laundering pending. Prosecutors intend to retry him June 5. Prosecutor Lisa Monaco told Gilmore on Monday the government aims to file three separate indictments within a month. She said it expects to drop the remaining insider trading charges against Shelby, but otherwise all defendants would be tried on the other pending charges. Gilmore said Monday she was considering requests from the defendants that she acquit them of all remaining charges. Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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