More than a year ago Andersen Worldwide SC – now AWSC Societe Cooperative, the international umbrella organization that used to include Chicago-based Arthur Andersen LLP – agreed to pay $40 million to settle claims of at least $25 billion filed on behalf of Enron investors and former employees.
At a two-hour hearing Thursday where she was supposed to give final approval, U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon said she was considering the settlement but would not do so immediately.
The prospective deal includes $15 million to be available to pay for costs associated with the litigation.
AWSC previously served as the coordinating entity for the international network of Andersen firms and Arthur Andersen LLP, which was once a $4 billion network with 85,000 employees.
The network splintered when Arthur Andersen LLP was indicted and convicted last year of obstruction of justice for shredding and doctoring Enron-related documents in late 2001 to thwart a Securities and Exchange Commission probe.
The conviction barred Andersen from auditing public companies. A year ago, Harmon sentenced Andersen to five years probation and ordered the firm to immediately pay a $500,000 fine before civil lawsuits and other costs siphoned its few remaining assets.