Prosecution of Andrew Fastow Essay

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Andrew Fastow was the Chief Financial Advisor for Enron. As such, he was responsible for the vast majority of the financial legal transgressions the company enacted prior to its dissolution early last decade. The specific laws that Fastow violated include wire fraud and securities fraud; he was sentenced for six years on two counts of each charge midway through last decade. Security fraud is deliberately misrepresenting a company’s assets in regards to its securities—and the perception of those securities. Fastow was aware that Enron’s securities were based on incorrect reporting which inflated its assets, making those securities more valuable than they otherwise would have been. Wire fraud is a deliberate misrepresentation of information wired within or between states. It is a crime because wiring information is a valuable means of communication, particularly in financial circles in which securities are involved. Fastow was frequently involved in the wire fraud with Enron whenever there was wire communication about the company’s financial information, which was in and of itself fraudulent. Thus, whenever that financial information was transacted via elements of the wire fraud law, that law was deliberately infringed. Wire fraud involves using federal communication devices for purposeful misrepresentations, including media such as telephones and email.

The offender’s behavior that violated the law

There were several things which Fastow did to repeatedly commit both wire fraud and securities fraud. Perhaps his actions to commit wire fraud were more pervasive than those to commit the former crime.
One of the primary ways that Fastow committed wire fraud was by communicating with a number of banks to hide Enron’s mounting debt while inflating its assets. Fastow did this numerous times, calling these banks—such as Merrill Lynch “problem solvers” when it was time for Enron to do its quarterly accounting (Barrionuevo, 2006). These banks were complicit in Enron’s complicated fraud scheme because it was financially beneficial for them to be so. There is an inherent link between what Fastow did in his wire fraud as it related to securities fraud. When he would use communication consisting of wire fraud to detail information which affected Enron’s securities and the exchange of those securities, he was committing securities fraud as well. Fastow would also directly pay banks to enable Enron to meet desirable financial projections for quarters. Doing so was a means of bribing banks to commit fraud that was favorable to Enron’s finances. He would communicate these bribes via email or on the phone; those fraudulent projections in turn would influence security trades. Fastow also created shell companies—companies primarily existing….....

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Barrionuevo, A. (2006). Fastow a key for plaintiffs in bank suits. Retrieved from

Emshwiller, J.R. (2006). In Enron trial, LJM is a double-edged sword. Retrieved from

McLean, B., Elkind, P. (2013). The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron. New York: Penguin Random House.

Norris, F., Eichenwald, K. (2002). Enron’s many strands: The accounting; fuzzy rules of accounting and Enron. Retrieved from

Rogers, J. (2004). Fastow and his wife plead guilty. Retrieved from

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