Another Enron executive was convicted this week in connection with his involvement in an $111 million accounting fraud at the broadband unit of the company.
After six days of deliberations, a federal jury found the former chief financial officer of Enron Broadband Services, Kevin Howard, guilty on five counts of fraud, conspiracy and falsifying records. He faces up to 25 years in prison at his sentencing, which is scheduled for Sept 11.
Howard, 43, was tried alongside former accountant Michael Krautz, 37, who the jury acquitted of the same charges. It was the second trial for both men, after a three-month trial in 2005 ended in acquittals for a pack of the unit's 24 former executives. Five of those defendants were reindicted on fewer counts to be tried in smaller trials.
Prosecutors alleged that Howard and Krautz set up a sham video-on-demand deal with Blockbuster Video that they guaranteed investors couldn't fail because earnings would be created by selling an interest in future revenues, which never materialized. The men said that no crimes were committed and all deals had been reviewed by outside lawyers and accountants.
Howard's trial was held down the hall from the same room Enron Corp.'s former top executives, Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling, were found guilty a week ago on charges of fraud and conspiracy.
The joint retrial of the unit's former chief executive, Joseph Hirko, and former senior vice president, Rex Shelby, on charges of conspiracy, fraud and insider trading is set for Sept. 5. Vice President Scott Yeager's May 30 retrial on charges of insider trading and money laundering has been postponed indefinitely pending an appeal.
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