Category Archives: Enron

Another Enron scammer pig get off the hook.

The majority of the judges on the Fifth Circuit Court of appeals were appointed by Bush41 and Reagan, 12 out of 16 to be exact, and we already know Bush43 stacked SCOTUS with rightwingers/corporate worshipping morons. James Brown, Conrad Black, Bruce Weyhrauch and the biggest crook of them all Jeffrey Skilling have now had their sentences reversed and/or charges dropped. From Jurist:

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] on Wednesday asked a federal judge to drop fraud and conspiracy charges against a former Merrill Lynch executive accused of taking part in the Enron [corporate website; JURIST news archive] Nigerian barge scam. James Brown was convicted [JURIST report], along with three other former Merrill Lynch executives in 2004, in the first criminal trial stemming from the Enron collapse. Brown and his co-defendants were convicted on charges of conspiracy and wire fraud relating to a deal that allowed Enron to sell shares [WSJ report] in Nigerian power-producing barges to Merrill Lynch, with the promise that Merrill Lynch’s interests would be bought out within six months at a pre-determined profit. The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit [official website] reversed the convictions [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] in 2006 “on the legal ground that the government’s theory of fraud relating to the deprivation of honest services—one of three theories of fraud charged in the Indictment—is flawed.” Brown’s retrial was scheduled to begin next week, after the district judge denied [Bloomberg report] the government’s request to postpone the proceedings. The government previously ended attempts to re-prosecute Brown’s co-defendants on the charges. Brown is currently in the process of appealing his conviction on the charges of perjury and obstruction of justice to the US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive].

One statute utilized by the government in the original convictions of the executives was the “honest service” doctrine [18 USC § 1346 text], which was recently limited in scope by the Supreme Court. In June, the court ruled [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] in Skilling v. United States [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report] that the doctrine is not unconstitutionally vague under a limited construction. In its ruling, the court limited the honest services doctrine to the protection of intangible rights of honest service deprived through bribery and kickbacks. As a result of the ruling, the court vacated the conviction of former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling [JURIST news archive] under the statute because his misconduct did not fall under either category. The court also vacated the conviction of Canadian media mogul Conrad Black [JURIST news archive] and former Alaskan congressmen Bruce Weyhrauch who were also convicted under the doctrine.  

Just how inept were and still are the assholes in the DOJ?  It’s so damn friggin pathetic that in the end….no one involved in the fuckery pulled by Enron and Merrill Lynch will do time in prisonThanks for nothing Eric Holder and the rest of your useless DOJ attorneys.

McCain’s economic advisor is Phil Gramm?

Thanks to a new article up on the website The Public Record, I now have an Excedrin headache. Philly Gramm has only served one constituency his entire public life…that of the Corporatocracy and it’s incestuous sister the Financial Industry. Now, as Weathervane McCain’s chief economic advisor, we can expect old Johnny to tow the corporate line too, but of course under the guise of helping Americans.

Phil Gramm hates regulation of any market or any business. His love of all things capitalistic is legendary, as Leopold points out in his piece. Gramm was instrumental in giving Enron free rein during their heyday.

It’s also a family affair for the Gramms. His wife Wendy was on the board of directors at Enron.

So, when McCain says he doesn’t like something that will hamstring businesses and/or corporations…he is really towing the line as laid out by Phil Gramm. Take the Farm Bill currently before Congress. Johnny says he doesn’t want to reward lobbyists…but if the truth be known..that ain’t the real bitch that McCain and his buddy Gramm have with the bill. From TPR’s article:

But the aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity, acknowledged that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee also opposes the farm bill because Gramm advised McCain that he should resist its regulatory language on the energy futures market.

Interesting no? Gramm is still looking out for his buddies. Bush has already stated he will veto the bill, because he too is a big supporter of unfettered capitalism..even at the expense of we, the people.