Defense Challenges Fastow's Credibility

Enron's former Chief Financial Officer has spent the past week on the stand in the fraud and conspiracy trial of Jeff Skilling and Ken Lay. Houston Public Radio's Ed Mayberry reports. Aired 3/14/06 during the KUHF Morning Business Report.

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Andy Fastow has admitted lying, but he says that ended when he made his pleaagreement. Defense attorneys have been challenging his credibility,following his testimony that Enron founder Ken Lay was aware of thecompany's troubles in 2001 when he gave upbeat reports to employees andanalysts. Lay's attorney Mike Ramsey countered that by playing tapes of Laytelling employees that some overseas assets were generating low returns.

The defense continued questioning the authenticity of a handwrittenagreement Fastow said he found in 2004. That's the list documenting theside deals Fastow had with former chief accountant Richard Causey.

Fastow has linked Lay and Jeff Skilling to hiding Enron's finances frominvestors by using Fastow-run partnerships to manipulate earnings. Thedefense has said special purpose entities like L-J-M are legal, but Fastowran secret side deals without the knowledge of Lay and Skilling.

Former LJM employee Chris Loehr will answer government questions when thetrial resumes this morning, and whistleblower Sherron Watkins could be onthe stand this week.

Ed Mayberry, Houston Public Radio News.

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