Source Pravda.Ru

New rival to NYSE – the Pentagon

The case of the Enron bankruptcy and murky deals with the shares of the energy giant is acquiring more and more scandalous details. It is likely that even more officials that has been supposed before will be involved in the scandal.

As soon as Enrongate started, information about company’s close connection with the George W.Bush administration appeared. It was said, and is still said now that Vice-president Richard Cheney met former Enron chief executive officer Kenneth Lay several times. They are even said to be close friends. Richard Cheney says his contacts with Enron were of purely business nature, and nothing more. At the same time, the FBI is still investigating who among the officials was connected with Enron's murky deals. the results of the investigation are really very astonishing. the Wall Street Journal reports that Thomas White, a Pentagon official, is in for really hard times. FBI agents suspect him of stagging Enron shares on the basis of insider information he received from Enron. FBI agents tried to find out from relatives and former colleagues of the suspect (Thomas White left a post as vice chairman of Enron Energy Services to become Army Secretary in mid-2001) whether they informed Thomas White of Enron's financial state for his more successful stock-jobbing. The investigation revealed, after several telephone calls in October 2001, shortly before Enron's problems, that the suspect sold half of his Enron shares to the sum of $3.08 million. Mr. White himself denies the accusations and any suggestions that he discussed Enron's worsening financial state with his friends. The FBI demanded that the Pentagon should present records of telephone calls and documents concerning Enron, including White’s telephone calls as well.

The Enron case is becoming a real damnation for many American officials. It is no surprise that people misused their positions for enrichment. Corruption is corruption everywhere, even in the USA. It is quite natural that the FBI is so active in the investigation of the abuse of power in connection with the Enron case. It must be said that it is only the court that is to prove White's guilt.

Currently, there are three departments investigating the Enron case: the FBI, the US Justice Ministry, and the Labor Ministry. The Congress quickly joined the investigation as well, as interests of voters have been touched upon. The Bush administration is tying to disprove any information about its connection with the former leadership of the bankrupted company. So far, the Bush administation is succeeding. The continuing Middle East conflict has come in very handy for the US administration, as the violence draws the attention of the majority of voters. Bush’s mother-in-law lost $8,000 in the Enron bankruptcy. The sum is really very small against the background of the thousands of dollars of Enron staffers’ pensions lost in the bankruptcy. The White House is able somehow to survive the pressure of the Democrats who demand a closer investigation of the case. It is not ruled out that FBI agents will discover more interesting details about the connection of US officials with Enron stock speculation. Very famous people may be involved.

Oleg Artyukov PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Maria Gousseva

Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/04/15/39746.html

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