The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of appeals released two former Merrill Lynch & Co. bankers from jail. The men had been convicted on fraud charges in 2004 for helping failed Enron Corp. inflate its profits.

Both Daniel Bayly, Merrill's former investment-banking chief, and Robert Furst, the former Enron relationship manager for Merrill, were ordered released on bail while they continue appealing their convictions in connection with a Nigerian barge transaction. Merrill invested in the deal, allowing Enron to book $12 million in earnings. At trial, prosecutors said that because Enron guaranteed Merrill's profits, it had improperly booked the earnings and overstated its own profits.

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