That Andrew Fastow was only sentenced to six years in prison on September 26—a term that may be reduced to five, if his purported anti-anxiety drug addiction is deemed worthy enough for an in-prison drug treatment program—has a lot of people’s knickers in a twist. And probably likely so, if we’re to believe the hype behind this whole “Enron scandal” situation. Everyone has a lot of questions and answers are few and far between (except the obvious one, which is “Yes, he’s still alive and has been hiding out in a bunker on the Jersey Shore). Luckily, Peter Elkind sheds some light today at Fortune and, use of the word ‘synergistic’ notwithstanding, gives a pretty convincing explanation, save for one huge oversight*:
Give credit to a very synergistic bit of lawyering by San Francisco criminal defense star John Keker. As it turns out, Keker not only represents Fastow but is also the personal criminal defense attorney in an unrelated federal investigation for Bill Lerach, the controversial plaintiffs attorney who represents Enron shareholders in their massive class-action lawsuit.
In an 11th-hour deal benefiting both of Keker’s clients, Fastow agreed to aid Lerach’s Enron class action, which has already collected a record $7.3 billion in settlements (mostly from the big banks that helped Enron cook its books). Fastow provided detailed debriefings to the plaintiffs’ lawyers, naming Enron bankers he considered complicit, and he agreed to sit for deposition.
*Off-off Broadway plays don’t make it to 42nd street with their chief consultant cooped up for very long in the slammer, now do they, people? Honestly, let’s quit the ballyhooing and get real—those Tonys aren’t going to win themselves.
Why Enron’s Fastow may only serve five years [Fortune]