Trial of the Century: The Enron Trial: Episode 3 - The Testimony

Thomas Fox - Compliance Evangelist
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Loren Steffy and Tom Fox sit down for part 3 of The Enron Trial series. In this episode, they discuss some of the significant testimonies by witnesses and the effect they had on the trial.

The Star Witnesses

Loren names Andrew Fastow, former CFO, and Ben Glisan, former Treasurer, as the star witnesses in the trial. However, as an observer, the most See more +

Loren Steffy and Tom Fox sit down for part 3 of The Enron Trial series. In this episode, they discuss some of the significant testimonies by witnesses and the effect they had on the trial.

The Star Witnesses

Loren names Andrew Fastow, former CFO, and Ben Glisan, former Treasurer, as the star witnesses in the trial. However, as an observer, the most moving testimony for him was that of Joanne Cortez, Enron’s bookkeeper. “She was a very credible witness,” said Loren, “and to me, it just showed how there were so many innocent people at Enron that didn’t want to believe what was happening. And when they finally found it out, there was no denying it.”

Employee Losses

The goal of the prosecutors was to emphasize the real-world consequences of Enron’s malfeasance. Many employees were encouraged to invest their entire retirement savings into the company and pay a significant price. Loren details the heartbreaking story of a pipeline worker named Johnnie Nelson. “He didn’t know anything about the stock market,” Loren tells Tom. “Enron was a good company to work for, and they told him, ‘Take your retirement money, buy the stock. It’ll benefit you in the long run.’ He did it because that’s what they told him to do. Then, one day he comes into the field office, and everybody’s long in the face and looking scared, and he realizes he’s lost everything he’s been working for.”

Executive Testimonies

The testimonies of Jeffrey Skilling and Kenneth Lay mimicked their personalities; Skilling being very professorial, and Lay acting like he was conducting an investor seminar. “I think they were very convinced that they were going to get off, or at least get a light sentence,” Loren told Tom. Ben Glisan’s testimony was very damaging to Kenneth Lay, revealing that Lay was more aware of what was happening at Enron than he let on. See less -

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