The crooked "E" that was for sale at the Enron auction sold for $44,000 to a buyer who was told to get it at any cost:
Jimmy Luu, sent by his boss to buy the sign, said he was given explicit marching orders regarding the behemoth corporate logo that once stood outside a downtown satellite office.
"He said, `Do anything to get it,' " Luu told a crush of reporters who surrounded him shortly after his bid was gaveled out in a packed Astrodome hotel ballroom.
"It's just a once in a lifetime thing that he wanted to own."
Scott Bui, attorney for Microcache, explained why the store wanted the mammoth sign so badly.
"The reason we bought this was to preserve this business icon," he said. "It also signifies a lot of sweat, greed and fraud in business."
Luu said his computer store, which has three locations in Houston, will display the sign at one of the sites.
Luu's bid electrified spectators. Early bidder John Quinlan had boosted the price to $25,000 before bailing out, saying he "always wanted to own Enron."
The last online bid was $30,000, and Luu appeared to have wrapped up the letter at $31,000, but homebuilder Mir Azizr stepped in, finally stopping at $43,000.
"I came here intending to buy it for $20,000. I didn't expect it to go for $44,000," said Azizr, who planned to incorporate the logo in a new downtown project he's calling "E-Lofts."