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March 21, 2006

Did Fastow forge Causey's initials on Global Galactic?

Fastow16.jpgAs noted on several occasions previously, the Lay-Skilling trial has settled into a rhythm during the Enron Task Force's case-in-chief in which long stretches of boring testimony regarding rather dry topics is interrupted intermittently with a tidbit that really appears to capture the jury's attention. The same routine took place yesterday and surprisingly, only the Chronicle's John Roper among the major news media reporters covering the trial appears to have picked up on the most riveting testimony for the jury.

For most of Monday, the jury and spectators endured testimony from a couple of former Arthur Andersen partners who worked on the Enron account and testified how they thought Enron violated various accounting rules. Most of it was pretty dry, but prosecutor Sean Berkowitz had the following exchange with Tom Bauer, one of the former Andersen accountants who worked closely with former Lay-Skilling defendant and former Enron chief accountant, Richard Causey, regarding the Global Galactic agreement between Causey and former Enron CFO, Andy Fastow:

Q: Do you recognize anybody's initials on this document, Mr. Bauer?

A: I recognize what appears to Mr. Causey's initials.

Q: And are you familiar with Mr. Causey's initials from having worked with -- having worked with him?

A: I'd seen Mr. Causey's initials on a number of documents that I have reviewed during the course of my work.

Q: And do the initials on each of these three pages appear, to the best as you can tell, to be Mr. Causey's initials, based on your -- your knowledge and recollection of his initials?

A: They appear to be.

During Fastow's testimony, the Lay-Skilling defense raised substantial questions regarding the validity and authenticity of the Global Galactic agreement, and those questions have become even more compelling by the revelation that the Task Force has chosen not to have Causey corroborate Fastow's testimony on Global Galactic, at least during the presentation of the prosecution's case-in-chief.

During cross-examination yesterday, Skilling lawyer Randy Oppenheimer displayed for Bauer and the jury a handy graphic that contained several examples of Causey and Fastow's initials, including Causey's alleged initials on Global Galactic. As the jury looked on with keen interest, Oppenheimer led Bauer through a review of the various initials, getting Bauer to admit that the alleged Causey initials on Global Galactic indeed looked different from Causey's initials from other documents and that certain characteristics of Fastow's writing appear similar to the alleged Causey initials on Global Galactic. Appearing somewhat dumbfounded, Bauer's final statement to the jury during his testimony yesterday was the following regarding Global Galactic:

"Sir, I can't say who authored this document. When I saw the initials on them, they appeared to me to be the initials of Mr. Causey, but I'm not a handwriting expert. I can't testify with regard to who authored this document."

Where is Waldo? er, I mean Causey?, indeed.

Posted by Tom at March 21, 2006 4:59 AM |


good report and yet another Brady/Kyles issue

has causey said in his 302 that this was his initial?

Posted by: Moe Levine at March 21, 2006 7:05 AM

Your article gives credit to Mary Flood article when it show John Roper. Is there an article somewhere else by Mary Flood.

Posted by: billolis at March 21, 2006 7:34 AM

Moe, inasmuch as Causey has not been designated as a Task Force witness, I doubt that any 302's have been turned over to the Lay-Skilling defense. Similarly, I am unaware of any prosecution disclosure at this point as to Causey's position on the initials on the Global Galactic.

Posted by: Tom K. at March 21, 2006 7:51 AM

Are we sure they weren't Carol Alvarado's initials? :-)

Posted by: Charles Kuffner at March 22, 2006 9:27 PM

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