Risk & Compliance

Fastow Sentencing Set for Tuesday

But long line of victims seeking to testify about the damage caused by his crimes could cause a delay in his sentencing.
Stephen TaubSeptember 25, 2006

The sentencing of former Enron Corp. chief financial officer Andrew Fastow may finally take place on Tuesday.

But, contrary to many published reports, it’s still not definite that U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt will actually make his decision that day.

That’s because he said he will listen to any victim who lines up to speak by 10 a.m. Houston time, with no time limits. As a result, the hearing may last more than a day if enough victims show up, according to Bloomberg. The Associated Press, however, speculates in one report that not many victims plan to show up to speak.

In 2004, Fastow agreed to a 10-year prison term, the maximum sentence, for conspiracy, under a plea deal. However, his lawyers are now seeking a shorter term, based on Fastow’s testimony at the trial of his former bosses, Kenneth Lay and Jeff Skilling, who were convicted in May. (Attorneys for Lay, who died before he could appeal, are seeking to have his conviction stricken from the record.).

Under his plea deal, Bloomberg reports, Fastow agreed not to ask for a lesser sentence. However, in 2005, the Supreme Court ruled that mandatory federal sentencing guidelines in effect at the time of Fastow’s agreement were only advisory, according to the wire service, a decision that opens the door for Fastow to seek a lighter sentence.

Fastow, who pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, agreed to serve two consecutive five-year prison sentences and forfeited $23.8 million in cash and property, Bloomberg noted. The government dropped 96 other criminal charges in exchange for Fastow’s cooperation.

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