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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
News Conference on Indictment of Jeffrey Skilling
Aired February 19, 2004 - 12:07 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Let's go over to the Justice Department still here in Washington. The deputy attorney general, James Comey, speaking about the indictment of the Enron -- former Enron CEO, Jeffrey Skilling.
JAMES COMEY, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: The Skilling indictment adds to the already impressive work of the Enron taskforce, a group made up of prosecutors and investigators from around the country who to date have obtained charges against 29 defendants, including 20 former Enron executives. Those 29 defendants, nine of whom have already been convicted of corporate misdeeds, including the Fastows and Enron's former treasurer, Ben Glisan.
Let me give you a quick rundown of the indictment unsealed this morning. Jeffrey Skilling, according to the indictment, was Enron's CEO from early 2001 until August 14th of 2001, when he resigned, supposedly for personal reasons. Before that, he was Enron's chief operating officer, and essentially ran this company.
In short, the indictment alleges that this was the guy at Enron, both as the chief operator officer and the chief executive officer. Mr. Causey is a former Arthur Andersen accountant who was Enron's chief accounting officer starting in 1998.
The indictment charges that Mr. Skilling, Mr. Causey, and other Enron executives oversaw a massive conspiracy to cook the books of that company and to create the illusion -- the illusion -- that it was a robust, growing company with limitless potential. When in truth and in fact, as we all know, and as Skilling and Causey and their co- conspirators knew then, Enron was an increasingly troubled business kept afloat only by a lifeline of gimmicks and maneuvers. Gimmicks and maneuvers that amounted to an out-and-out fraud.
BLITZER: James Comey, the deputy attorney general here in Washington, outlining the government's case, the federal government's case against Jeffrey Skilling, the former Enron CEO indicted on multiple counts earlier today. We'll continue to monitor this news conference over at the Justice Department and update our viewers as necessary.