Howls are still being heard about the sentence granted Enron’s former CFO Andy Fastow. Fastow cut a plea bargain to cooperate with the feds in return for ten years in the slammer, and he was expected to get close to that. But at his Sept. 26 sentencing in Houston, U.S. district judge Kenneth Hoyt gave Fastow just six years instead – partly because of pleas for mercy from some of the very people he had helped defraud.
Give credit to a very synergistic bit of lawyering by San Francisco criminal defense star John Keker. As it turns out, Keker not only represents Fastow but is also the personal criminal defense attorney in an unrelated federal investigation for Bill Lerach, the controversial plaintiffs attorney who represents Enron shareholders in their massive class-action lawsuit.
In an 11th-hour deal benefiting both of Keker’s clients, Fastow agreed to aid Lerach’s Enron class action, which has already collected a record $7.3 billion in settlements (mostly from the big banks that helped Enron cook its books). Fastow provided detailed debriefings to the plaintiffs’ lawyers, naming Enron bankers he considered complicit, and he agreed to sit for deposition.