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News > Companies
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Duncan wants immunity
graphic January 23, 2002: 5:12 p.m. ET

Fired Andersen partner wants immunity, invokes Fifth Amendment.
By Staff Writer Luisa Beltran
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  • Enron executives and directors sold $1.3B in stock - Jan. 22, 2002
  • A chronology of Enron Corp. - Jan. 21, 2002
  • Andersen exec testifies that shredding began after e-mail - Jan. 21, 2002
  • Houston, we have a problem - Jan. 18, 2002
  • Special Report: Enron's Collapse
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  • Enron
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Department of Justice
  • SEC
  •  
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    NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Fired Andersen auditor David Duncan agreed Wednesday to appear before a Congressional hearing but will not testify, a source with knowledge of the situation said.

    Duncan will invoke his Fifth Amendment constitutional right to protect himself against self-incrimination as a reason not to testify at the hearing. Duncan had said earlier, through his attorney, that he will not testify unless he is granted immunity from prosecution, a letter from Duncan's attorney, obtained by CNN/Money, said.

    Duncan received a subpoena to appear before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Tuesday at 10:48 p.m., less than 35 hours before the hearing, attorney Robert Giuffra said in a letter to the subcommittee. Giuffra, a partner at law firm Sullivan & Cromwell, is representing Duncan.

    Duncan has not yet had access to all of the documents necessary for him to prepare for the formal hearing, Giuffra said. It was only on Tuesday that Duncan gained access to his own files that Arthur Andersen provided to the Committee last week.

    "On the basis of this advice of counsel, Mr. Duncan has authorized Sullivan & Cromwell to advise the Committee that he will rely on his constitutional right not to testify at the January 24 hearing," Giuffra said. "Mr. Duncan will testify on Jan. 24 if the Committee votes to grant him immunity."

    Enron, a former energy trading pioneer, filed for bankruptcy protection on Dec. 2 - the biggest Chapter 11 filing in U.S. history. Accounting firm Andersen has come under scrutiny for its auditing of the company.

    Last week, Andersen fired Duncan after it was discovered that he shredded documents related to the Enron matter. He has said that he was advised to do so by Andersen counsel. Details

    Here are other recent developments in the Enron case:

  • Enron Corp. called off a planned all-employee meeting Wednesday due to the "media frenzy" surrounding its bankruptcy and now expects to hold a series of conferences in the future, a company-wide e-mail said.


    In an message sent late Tuesday, Enron told its staff that ongoing investigations and pending litigation have made it difficult to share information. The humbled energy trader had anticipated holding an all-employee conference Wednesday at the Hyatt Regency in Houston.

    Enron had expected to detail its plans to emerge from bankruptcy at the meeting..

    "We don't want to subject you to the media frenzy that would certainly surround such a meeting, so we've decided to postpone it," a message from Enron's office of the chairman said.

    Enron now expects to hold a series of meetings within its building and will announce their date and time. The company will provide an overview of Enron's new organization structure prior to the meetings, the company said.

  • Enron allowed the Federal Bureau of Investigation to interview workers located on the 19th and 20th floors of its Houston headquarters and stationed security guards there Tuesday to prevent further shredding of documents, Enron lawyers said during a federal court hearing in Houston. Separately, lawyers representing Enron investors asked a federal judge to assign a U.S. marshal or security team inside the building to ensure no more documents are destroyed. An initial search of the 19th floor revealed one wastebasket filled with shredded documents that have been turned over to authorities.

    The actions come as ex-Enron employees revealed that possibly important documents were shredded as recently as last week at Enron headquarters. The shredding continued despite federal subpoenas and court orders since late October prohibiting the practice. Details

  • Enron's executives and directors sold about $1.3 billion worth of stock in the last three years, with CEO Ken Lay booking $119 million in profit, according to a Thomson Financial study commissioned by CNN.
    The comprehensive study shows that executives of the humbled energy trader made less than previously suggested but still netted millions on the stock sales. Details

  • President Bush revealed Tuesday that his mother-in-law is among the losers in the Enron debacle.
    While touring a machine factory in Belle, W.Va., the president was asked about the growing Enron scandal and commented that he was angry about information that the company withheld.

    "What I am outraged about is that shareholders and employees did not know all the facts about Enron," Bush said after reports the company allegedly practiced improper accounting techniques. Details

  • Following the Enron scandal, international pressure is mounting to break up the close relationship that can develop between companies and their auditors.
    Britain's Financial Services Authority is reviewing plans to force public companies to change auditors every five years or so. Details graphic

  •   RELATED STORIES

    Enron executives and directors sold $1.3B in stock - Jan. 22, 2002

    A chronology of Enron Corp. - Jan. 21, 2002

    Andersen exec testifies that shredding began after e-mail - Jan. 21, 2002

    Houston, we have a problem - Jan. 18, 2002

    Special Report: Enron's Collapse

      RELATED LINKS

    Enron

    Federal Bureau of Investigation

    Department of Justice

    SEC





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    Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.

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