Long before government bailouts became big news another distressed corporation captured the headlines. Enron sank years ago and some former employees and spouses fought for their retirement money. Now a few are receiving notice they should pay it back.
Peg Jimerson of Omaha hasn’t completely retired. “It’s the best job I’ve ever had, watching my two grandkids.”
She depended on an Enron retirement payment to help make ends meet, but the accounting firm hired to divide up settlement money miscalculated what some had coming and Peg received notice in the mail to pay back a $1,918.16 overpayment.
“I wasn’t expecting this to be honest with you and the fact that it did come when it did, right before the holidays. I was kind of hoping Santa Claus would come with something better than that.”
A spokesman for Enron says about 13 percent of former employees and spouses have been overpaid by the accounting mistake. Harlan Loeb says any of them can dispute the amount, but they shouldn’t ignore the request to repay the overpaid amount. The dispute process can take up to 90 days.
Peg is choosing not to pay back the money for now and wait for another repayment notice because she invested her Enron settlement in the stock market.
“I really wasn’t concerned until I talked to my financial guy and he said there’s not much left there either. I don’t believe this.”
The accounting firm that made the error is being sued.
Monthly Archives: November 2008
Its not a huge surprise, but President Bush has not issued a last minute pardon to Jeff Skilling in the latest flurry of pardons. Since President Bush was the instigator of the Enron Task Force, there was never much hope that he would come to the rescue of Skilling, but it would have been nice.
Jeff Skilling continues to wait for the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to rule on his appeal, which was heard in New Orleans on April 2, 2008.
From the Chron:
The U.S. Supreme Court said Friday that it will hear the appeal of a former top strategist in Enron’s broadband division who says he shouldn’t be retried on insider trading charges because a jury acquitted him of conspiracy and fraud.
The notice that the court will consider Scott Yeager’s appeal puts his March retrial on hold until justices issue a ruling, his lawyers said. They expect arguments to be scheduled for February or March.
“We have confidence they took the case because they want to give careful consideration to the legal issues as to whether the acquittals bar the Justice Department from trying the insider trading charges against him,” said Samuel Buffone, one of Yeager’s lawyers.
The short list the court issued Friday of appeals accepted for argument did not include that of another former broadband executive, Rex Shelby, who has a similar argument that a handful of acquittals guts the government’s effort to retry him.
But Shelby won’t know until Monday whether his appeal was rejected outright or if it’s on hold until the high court hears and rules on Yeager’s case, said one of Shelby’s lawyers, Susan Hays.
If the appeal is on the reject list to be issued Monday, Shelby faces a retrial in January as scheduled. If on hold, his retrial likely will be postponed along with Yeager’s until his appeal is decided.
“We’re not quite dead yet,” Hays said.
The Justice Department declined comment.
A third former executive, ex-broadband division Chief Executive Joseph Hirko, also had an appeal request pending before the Supreme Court. But that appeal is moot because he pleaded guilty to wire fraud last month and accepted a guarantee of no more than 16 months in prison.
Hirko is to be sentenced March 3.
The three men’s first trial, along with two other defendants, ended after three months with a few acquittals, no convictions and jurors hung on dozens of counts. Yeager alone faced more than 100 counts, most of those money laundering.
They were accused of overstating capabilities of Enron’s broadband operations to generate Wall Street buzz and enrich themselves by selling shares whose value was inflated by the hype.
Jurors acquitted Yeager of conspiracy and several counts of fraud but were hung on more than 90 counts of insider trading and money laundering.
Hirko and Shelby each were acquitted of insider trading or money laundering counts, but jurors deadlocked on conspiracy and fraud.
In his appeal, Yeager argues that he can’t be retried for 13 counts of insider trading and money laundering in a pared-down indictment because of his acquittals. He contends that prosecutors can’t allege he sold stock on inside information or moved ill-gotten money between accounts when a jury found he didn’t participate in fraud or conspiracy.
Shelby contends that because he was acquitted of several counts of insider trading, there could be no fraud. Shelby did not challenge the pending count of conspiracy against him.
Earlier this year, a 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel rejected both arguments
My prayers are with Rex Shelby and Scott Yeager. Go team go.
November 9, 2001
Dynegy announced it would acquire Enron for $9 billion.
After struggling and floundering and back and forth between the two companies, this announcement was like manna from heaven to those who remained at Enron. It appeared that things might finally work out for the energy company.
The acquisition would become another disappointment in a long line of them, but for the moment, Enron relaxed a little. It would, at least, survive. Humiliated, small, but it would live.
From The Scotsman comes this tale of greed run amok:
THE former wife of jailed Scottish banker Gary Mulgrew claims her ex-husband “physically and mentally” tortured her, it was reported yesterday. Laura Murray is claiming more than £6 million compensation from Mulgrew, whom she described as a “pathological liar”. She also said she “lived in constant fear of him erupting into a violent tirade”.
Among the incidents inflicted upon her, Ms Murray claims Mulgrew punched her when she was pregnant and also tampered with the brake leads on her car.
Mulgrew was one of the so-called NatWest Three involved in the 2001 Enron scandal. He was extradited to America and convicted of plotting to defraud NatWest of £10 million.
Ms Murray is seeking £6 million from Mulgrew and Royal Bank of Scotland, whom she accuses of “intentionally concealing” Mulgrew’s assets during their divorce.
Yesterday, her lawyer Charles Camp, said: “We’re confident the claim we have against Gary Mulgrew is well founded.” Mulgrew is due to return to the UK later this month to serve the remaining 14 months of his sentence.
If memory serves, the former Mrs. Mulgrew is the same woman who denied her ex-husband child contact for over a year and now his daughter has been taken to Tunisia to live with her mother’s new boyfriend Abdul.
Sources close to the story describe Mrs. Mulgrew as a bitter woman hell-bent on making her ex-husband miserable and spreading lies about him. Her desperate lust for money in this suit speaks more about her than it does about her former husband.