Enron, Ken Lay, CEO discussed on The New Yorker: Politics and More - Patrick Radden Keefe and Sheelah Kolhatkar on Prosecuting Financial Crimes


Clearly a decision was made at some point sort of to steer away from individual charges how is it possible that a bank would demand that its shareholders pay sixteen billion dollars in fines to the government yet there was not an individual at that bank who could be charged with committing a crime it it just defies logic and you can contrast that with other whitecollar cases in the past there were handled very differently now one one that comes to mind as enron and the enron case was a very complicated case that took years to build there was a dedicated group of prosecutors and fbi agents who were put on that case they didn't have anything else they were supposed to do there were only working on that case and they were given resources to really follow it and they ultimately ended up uh convicting ken lay and jeff skilling the ceo and chairman of the firm and they did not have any email evidence where those guys are saying something stupid in selfincriminating in an email the the the case was much more diffuse but they had witnesses and just by really working hard over a long period of time they're able to build the case without the kind of evidence that i think people have become accustomed to seeing now which is somebody gun smoking gun an email where somebody says i know this is a criminal act and i am engaging in it ha ha we got away with it i they didn't have any of that yet they did manage to put these two top guys in jail and that does not happen any more amazing so so listen i'm and i'm gonna tell you a story then so.

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