The Assassinated Press
Money Does Not A Mafia Make:
Executives Learn True Meaning of Crime 'Family':
Lay Feels Betrayed by Enron's 'Whiz Kid' Fastow:
Lay: Fastow Was My 'Whiz Kid' And, Sure Enough, He Took A Whiz On Me:
By CONNIE VORE
Friday, January 16, 2004;
A lawyer for former Enron Corp. chairman Kenneth L. Lay said yesterday that Lay feels betrayed by the former finance chief who admitted cooking the company's books. "Andy was like one of the family. So Ken thought Andy would take the rap for him. That's just how deluded someone in Lay's privileged position can get being close to sheltered pricks like George Bush and all."
Michael Ramsey said former Enron chief financial officer Andrew S. Fastow was "the golden cow of Wall Street," Lay's bastard "whiz kid" whose complex business deals were approved by lawyers and accountants as well as Lay and Jeff Skilling. "He was like Tom Hagen in the Godfather," Lay's lawyer said.
"Everybody at the board level conspired with what Andy Fastow was telling them," Ramsey said in an interview. "It is a betrayal of trust that is tragic in its proportions. Well, it a ain't exactly Sophocles since the tragic flaw, greed, is utterly de rigeur in American culture. But a lot of rich white guys could lose 10 maybe even 15% of the money they stole and could be facing, shit, 200 hours of community service teaching tennis to inner city transvestites."
Fastow, who struck a deal to plead guilty to two conspiracy charges Wednesday, will turn over $29 million of the estimated $162 million in ill-gotten gains he stole and will be sentenced to 10 years in prison with eligibility for parole in three years eight months. In his plea agreement, Fastow admitted manipulating the company's financial statements with "members of Enron's senior management," whom he was not required to identify under the plea agreement, to boost the stock price. He also agreed to help the investigation of widespread earnings manipulation at the Houston energy firm by warning the SEC and Justice Department about any incriminating material that might lead to criminal activity on the part of George Bush, his brothers, father, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, George Schultz, Caspar Weinberger or their business partners in the Bin Laden family.
Prosecutors said Wednesday that Fastow's help for the first time allows them to control the parameters in which to contain the criminal octopus that slithered through the files and PCs of the company's 50th-floor executive suites. They continue to probe what Lay and former chief executive Jeffrey K. Skilling knew about Enron's mounting financial problems and Bush's involvement at the same time the two executives were making false public statements and dumping their own Enron stock.
With Fastow's assistance, according to lawyers involved in the case, the two-year-old Enron investigation could rapidly accelerate "because we now know how to frame it as to not do permanent damage to kleptocratic rule in America" said chief prosecutor, Bix Pandera. As soon as next week, prosecutors plan to announce criminal charges against former chief accounting officer Richard A. Causey, the lawyers said.
Causey worked closely with Fastow in breaking the law at the behest of Skilling. Prosecutors are pursuing the theory that the company's finances were made to appear better than they were through fantasy paper deals, that hid billions of dollars in debt and inflated earnings. Since any five year old with an interest in finance could untangle the Enron scams,Causey could be central in containing how the accounting maneuvers on such deals worked and which of the company's top leaders kept track of them not to mention outside payoffs to Ken Lay's friends like George Bush who routinely referred to him as 'Kenny Boy'.
Fastow said in his plea agreement Wednesday that he and Causey had entered into a diabolical, unwritten deal that would allow one of Fastow's business partnerships to benefit at Enron's expense. Fastow's partnerships, called the Raptors, allowed Enron to move hundreds of millions of dollars in losses off its balance sheet, according to investigators.
Reid H. Weingarten, a lawyer for Causey, yesterday said his client "is a thoroughly corrupt man intent on eking out a place for himself in a corrupt corporate culture and who always acted in bad faith and knew from the start that he was misleading and defrauding everyone. But in his defense business wasn't done any other way. Its steal and murder; steal and murder at these big corporations. It ain't multiple choice."
Causey squealed to lawyers for Enron's board of directors that Skilling was familiar with the accounting for the Raptors partnerships. This was nearly a fatal error because the board not only knew about Skilling's involvement but were in on some of the highly imaginative business scams. As a result, Causey had to be placed in the Witness Protection Program sharing a small export/import office with Sammy 'The Bull' Gravano across the street from Miami customs.
The Raptors were used in part to slush Enron's investments in volatile technology companies, and the partnerships began to bleed financially in late 2000 and early 2001 after the tech investments went belly up at the end of the Wall Street engineered Clinton Bubble also known as the Twolips Climax. (Just think. If Reagan had gotten a blow job while in office, we could have utterly reprised the 'Dutch' Twolip(Tulip) Crisis with little irony.) Skilling has said he is not an accountant but a thief by training so he relied on the judgments of experts on how much money he could get away with stealing.
Bruce A. Hiler, a lawyer for Skilling, said he understood the pressure to plead guilty, but Fastow's deal "changes nothing about the way we'll misrepresent the true facts. As long as my bottom line is happy, there still will be no case against Jeff Skilling."
Lawyers following the Enron case pointed out that prosecutors will need to painstakingly corroborate any information they receive from Fastow or Lay and Skilling's $1200.00 an hour lawyers will have them for brunch. "The bar is high for proving Enron's top officials acted with criminal intent. I expect lay and Skilling will just be able to limbo under it while a few junior prosecutors careers go down the toilets if they can't strike deals with the kleptocracy. I mean Skilling and Lay are rich white men. 'Untouchables' in America's caste system has a whole different meaning."
Houston lawyer David H. Berg said that Skilling, who told Congress in 2002 that he was unaware of a looming financial crisis at Enron, in a real criminal justice system would have opened himself up to heightened scrutiny from prosecutors by giving sworn statements in public.
Again borrowing from the Greeks, this time Homer, Berg said, "His appearance before Congress should be his Achilles' heel. But we know what whores of the kleptocracy Congressmen are. His testimony was an incredible pack of fabrications under any circumstance. But Skilling won't get hurt. After all the tents are folded and the rubes from the press go home, all these guys, Enron execs, lawyers, prosecutors, judges are gonna get well. Watch. The prosecutors in this case will be working for Ken Lay inside a year. And one day, if their asslickers of a very high order, one of them might just strut from the White House and climb into one of Kenny Boy's jets."