Risk & Compliance

Glisan: No Notes from Skilling Meetings

Ex-Enron treasurer Ben Glisan stood by testimony that Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling knew of the company's fraud, but admitted there was little p...
Tim ReasonMarch 23, 2006

Examine our Enron archive

Under a sometimes biting cross-examination by defense attorneys Thursday, Enron treasurer Ben Glisan defended his contention that Enron executives Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling knew about and approved Enron fraudulent reporting schemes, according to trial coverage by the Houston Chronicle. Glisan also disputed efforts by defense attorney Daniel Petrocelli to argue that the Raptors transactions and LJM partnerships were legitimate. Glisan, who skewered Lay during testimony yesterday, also reportedly testified that Skilling acknowledged that the Raptors transactions designed by Glisan were a way for Enron to “circumvent accounting rules.”

At one point, Lay attorney Bruce Collins reportedly took issue with Glisan’s instantly famous description, in testimony the day before, of Lay giggling over the description of the Raptors to the financial committee of Enron’s board. According to the Chronicle, Glisan conceded that the “giggle” may have been a “chuckle.”

Glisan, now living at home on furlough until his testimony ends, also reportedly described some of his experiences as a prisoner, including fear for his safety at one prison and his “shock” at spending about ten days in solitary confinement before being transferred to a minimum-security prison camp. Another shock occurred on February 19, 2004, when Glisan arrived at the Houston courthouse in shackles to testify before the Grand Jury, only to run into a handcuffed Skilling in the elevator. According to the Chronicle, Glisan testified that he and Skilling exchanged brief wishes of “God bless and good luck.” The discussion of Glisan’s moves through the prison system were apparently an effort by Petrocelli to demonstrate that Glisan’s conditions improved as his cooperation with the government increased.

In a further effort to undermine his testimony against Skilling and Lay, Petrocelli also reportedly raised the fact that Glisan briefly considered suing Enron for wrongful termination after the company fired him for profiting from Southampton, the name of one of Enron’s many financial deals.

Petrocelli also argued that Glisan had no record that could prove Skilling was aware that the company’s accounting was improper. “Did you make a single note of any of those conversations that you testified to yesterday?” Petrocelli asked, according to the Chronicle.

“Now, there are no notes,” Glisan reportedly responded. Petrocelli also pointed out that Glisan’s calendar showed only a single meeting with Skilling. Glisan said there were more, but “not many,” the Chronicle reported.

The trial has adjourned until Monday, with prosecutors telling the judge that they will rest their case by the middle of next week. That means Lay and Skilling are likely to take the stand themselves sometime in early April.