Rick Causey, Enron’s former chief accounting officer, pleaded not guilty yesterday to six felony charges. The Houston Chronicle says Causey’s indictment implicated “the company itself and its two uppermost executives.” The federal Enron Task Force has not charged Jeff Skilling, former CEO, and Ken Lay, ex-chairman, their job titles were listed in the “defendant” section of the Causey indictment. The Chronicle says lawyers watching the Enron cases said this was “unusual,” and a “clear warning” to the top executives. Lay and Skilling have repeatedly declared their innocence.
Like other Enron officials, Causey surrendered to the FBI and was led in handcuffs to the federal courthouse. The indictment called Causey “a principal architect and operator of the scheme to manipulate Enron’s reported earnings” in an effort to fool investors and profit from higher stock prices. The maximum penalty would be 55 years in prison and a fine of more than $5 million.
One Causey attorney, Mark Hulkower, called him “a decent, honorable and innocent man. He has done nothing, absolutely nothing, wrong. We will vigorously contest these charges.”