Enron setbacks could hurt other white-collar prosecutions
Marisa Taylor | McClatchy Newspapers
last updated: August 04, 2008 04:27:04 PM
WASHINGTON — Almost seven years after the energy giant Enron collapsed, a series of court decisions has opened the door to new trials for some of the convicted corporate executives and threatened to hobble the Justice Department's efforts to pursue future corporate-fraud cases.
In the wake of the scandal, prosecutors pursued executives for covering up the company's financial bleeding and unloading millions of dollars in stock. The Bush administration was under pressure to hold the company's executives accountable for what at the time represented the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history. More than 4,000 Enron employees lost their jobs, and investors lost billions.
However, legal experts said the government's recent setbacks in court raised troubling questions about how federal prosecutors handled the high-profile cases and suggested that the Justice Department could face serious obstacles in other white-collar investigations: