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Additional Charges Could Be Filed Against Arthur Andersen

Aired June 16, 2002 - 07:37   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Immediately following the Arthur Andersen verdict, federal prosecutors say additional charges are possible. A Houston jury found the auditing company guilty of obstructing justice in the Enron collapse. Andersen says it will continue doing business, at least for now.

Mike Zientek of CNN Houston affiliate KHOU sums things up for us.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MIKE ZIENTEK, KHOU CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After more than a week of talking it over, jurors decided that yes, Arthur Andersen had obstructed justice.

ANDREW WEISSMAN, PROSECUTOR: We charged Arthur Andersen because we thought they were guilty. And we were proved correct today when 12 jurors found Arthur Andersen guilty.

ZIENTEK: It means the jury believed the company destroyed Enron related documents in the midst of a federal investigation into the former energy giant. The government insists it never saw this case as a slam dunk. Not even with David Duncan, a former Andersen partner and lead Enron auditor as its star witness.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've said all along to you that we respected to this jury.

ZIENTEK: As for the defense lead attorney Rusty Hardin thanked jurors for their weeks of work, but he expressed disappointment, maintaining his belief his client had committed no crime.

RUSTY HARDIN, DEFENSE LEAD ATTORNEY: I think the very fact that it took them 10 days is indicative of how close an issue it was. And if an issue is that close, why ruin a company for it?

ZIENTEK: The government believes this case can serve as a spring board in the continuing criminal probe of Enron's implosion.

LESLIE CALDWELL, ENRON TASK FORCE HEAD: We are going to get to the bottom of the Enron debacle. And those people who are responsible are going to be prosecuted.

ZIENTEK: But those are issues for another day. This prosecution team simply wanted to enjoy this victory. (on camera): Arthur Andersen's attorneys say they plan to appeal this decision as soon as possible, but they can't do that until after the sentencing and the judge has set an October 11 date for that.

In Houston, Mike Zientek for CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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