For those of you who have been in Enron withdrawal since former-CEO Jeff Skilling reported to a Minnesota prison in December, take heart. The Securities and Exchange Commission filed civil charges yesterday in Houston against two former in-house lawyers accusing them of participating in the massive fraud that took place at the company and helping other Enron execs mislead investors about the true financial state of the Houston-based energy trading giant. The Commission charged Jordan Mintz, a former Enron Vice President and General Counsel of Enron's Global Finance Group, and Rex Rogers, a former Enron Vice President and Associate General Counsel, in connection with a fraudulent scheme to make material misrepresentations and omissions in Enron's public filings.
"We're bringing a case against lawyers who are traditionally viewed as gatekeepers. Unfortunately, they used their expertise to further aid and abet Enron's massive fraud," said Fredric Firestone, the associate director of the SEC's division of enforcement, the Houston Chronicle reports.
The SEC alleges that Rogers failed to properly disclose that former Enron Chairman Ken Lay sold more than $86 million in Enron stock back to the company to repay company loans in 2000 and 2001. The Commission accused Mintz of providing legal advice for and making murky disclosures about off-the-books deals engineered by former Enron finance chief Andrew Fastow to conceal billions of dollars of debt.