September 10, 2003
Glisan pleads guilty

Former Enron treasurer Ben Glisan pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and security fraud, earning him five years in Club Fed plus some post-prison supervision time. All other charges against him, which were part of a 109-count indictment against him, former Enron Chief Financial Officer Andrew Fastow and former Enron finance executive Dan Boyle, were dropped.

What intrigues me about this arrangement is what didn't happen:

Glisan, who had been indicted on two dozen charges, did not enter into a cooperating agreement with prosecutors. Thus, only if his actual presence in prison sobers other Enron suspects will his plea speed up the extensive criminal investigation into the demise of the energy trading giant. That work is still expected to continue several more months.

"He was viewed as one of the whiz kids. It has to be chilling," Leslie Caldwell, lead prosecutor of the Enron Task Force, said of the prison term's possible effect on other Enron executives.


One lawyer familiar with the case previously said Glisan could be in a position to provide the government with a big leg up in its continuing investigation of Enron executives and those at other companies that participated in some of the side deals. But prosecutor Caldwell said they do not expect Glisan to cooperate and they expect this deal to be final.

From reading the rest of the story, it sounds like prosecutors feel his guilty plea alone is enough to give them a boost in their case against Fastow and their continued investigation into other former Enron execs. They make it sound like they didn't need his cooperation in future trials. What mystifies me, then, is why Glisan took the plea and the jail time. I suppose he's either very risk-averse (hard to imagine given how he got into this predicament in the first place) or the case against him was pretty strong.

No matter. One more down, however many more to go. I hope this causes Fastow and Jeff Skilling to lose some sleep.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 10, 2003 to Enronarama | TrackBack

My guess was that it was a very strong case, too. Either that or the downside to the risk was very bad, and I don't see how that could be, given that his career is wrecked. Even when he gets off probation, he'll still have to deal with the ramifications from professional accounting groups. He may have been toast anyway, but pleading guilty is always worse than being indicted.

Posted by: Ginger on September 10, 2003 12:30 PM

There is also a much more simple explanation for the plea not containiong a cooperating agreement with prosecutors: that is precisely what the doj wants. God forbid that some of these lower rung guys actually offer up "kenny boy" or skilling who , I would guess, would rat out his own mother if it were to his advantage. These prosecutions are going exactly where the doj wants - nowhere near kenny boy.

Posted by: Steve Swearingen on September 10, 2003 1:53 PM