Risk Management

Former Enron IR Exec Enters Prison

Testifying at the trials of Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling, Mark Koenig reportedly said he felt pressure to lie in order to keep his job.
Stephen TaubJanuary 25, 2007

Mark Koenig, the ex-chief of investor relations at Enron, began serving an 18-month prison term on Wednesday for helping top executives mislead Wall Street about the company’s financial condition, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Koenig, who began serving the sentence in Three Rivers federal prison, about 75 miles south of San Antonio, also agreed to pay a $50,000 fine that will go to compensate victims of the Enron debacle. He became the eighth former executive of the company to serve prison time, the paper pointed out.

Koenig pleaded guilty in August 2004 to aiding and abetting securities fraud and was sentenced on Nov. 17, 2006, according to the Chronicle. “I definitely did not make the right choices in my last year at Enron,” Koenig reportedly told a judge when he was sentenced. “I am profoundly sorry for that.”

Testifying at the trials of the late former Enron chairman Ken Lay and former chief executive Jeff Skilling, Koenig asserted that he felt pressure to lie in order to keep his job, according to the newspaper. He joined the company in 1985 as a corporate treasurer, was transferred in 1992 to the investor relations department, and worked his way up to IR director there, according.

Koenig’s former number two—Paula Rieker—previously pleaded guilty to insider trading and is serving probation for two years, according to the Chronicle.

Meanwhile, former finance executive Michael Kopper is expected to begin his prison term next week. Kopper pleaded guilty to money laundering and conspiracy in August 2002 after admitting to giving kickbacks to former CFO Andrew Fastow. He was sentenced to three years and one month in prison.