Tags: Former | Enron | Auditor: | Obstructed | Justice'

Former Enron Auditor: 'I Obstructed Justice'

Tuesday, 14 May 2002 12:00 AM

Duncan testified late Monday in a Houston federal courtroom that he was aware that he was committing an illegal act when he instructed his colleagues to destroy documents during the collapse of the energy-trading giant.

"I obstructed justice," Duncan admitted in his testimony as a government witness against Andersen. "I instructed people on the engagement team to follow a document-retention policy which I knew would result in the destruction of documents."

Duncan's testimony counters Andersen's contention that the auditing firm was not trying to commit any crime and had instead been collecting documents to be turned over to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The 43-year-old accountant from Louisiana, was expected to testify further Tuesday about the supposedly cozy relationship between Enron and its auditor, and also about the events that took place last October as the SEC prepared to launch a formal inquiry into Enron's troubles.

In his brief testimony prior to the trial being adjourned for the day, Duncan described the layout of Andersen's offices in the Enron building and described how Andersen and Enron employees literally worked side-by-side.

Enron was once one of Andersen's largest clients, generating about $58 million in revenues, which resulted in a $700,000 salary for Duncan before he was fired after 20 years with the firm.

The buttoned-down graduate of Texas A&M has been named in dozens of lawsuits filed by former Enron employees and stockholders and will likely lose his accounting license as a result of his guilty plea.

"Mr. Duncan is at the beginning of a long road," his attorney, Barry Flynn, told the Los Angeles Times last week.

Duncan, who has not yet faced cross-examination by Andersen's counsel, pleaded guilty last month to a charge of obstruction of justice. The law allows for a partnership such as Andersen to be found liable for the actions of one of its partners. Should Andersen be convicted, the company could be barred from auditing publicly traded companies.

Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

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Duncan testified late Monday in a Houston federal courtroom that he was aware that he was committing an illegal act when he instructed his colleagues to destroy documents during the collapse of the energy-trading giant. I obstructed justice, Duncan admitted in his...
Former,Enron,Auditor:,Obstructed,Justice'
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Tuesday, 14 May 2002 12:00 AM
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