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February 3, 2023

Ex-Enron CFO Sorry About Sarbanes-Oxley, Guys

Enron's former CFO was at the University of New Mexico last week speaking about, well, fraud and stuff because that's pretty much the only thing you can do when you're a well-known convicted felon who played a part in bringing down your former company and a prestigious accounting firm.

Water under the bridge and all that, no biggie.

Like our pal ex-Crazy Eddie CFO Sam Antar, Fastow isn't ashamed of his crimes. From Albuquerque Business First:

"I pleaded guilty. I was guilty," he said. "I'm here because I went to jail."

But, Fastow was also there to explain that the same things he thought were completely above board, the same sketchy accounting methods that other Fortune 10 companies use, got him and his company in deep water.

Still, he says, "I cannot ever remember an instance where I set out to commit fraud. I didn't."

Some might argue that right there is a problem with guys like this, because they commit fraud anyway but they didn't mean to. Give me a sleazy, intentionally scumbaggy Sam Antar type any day, at least he'll admit they were all out to dupe investors, regulators, and auditors.

The most interesting part of Fastow's talk was not his played out whining about how he didn't mean to commit fraud, but rather a watered-down apology for the crappy legislation brought on by Enron's actions:

The company's bankruptcy was so earth-shattering at the time that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act came about largely because of Enron.

"I especially apologize for that. It's horrible legislation," he said.

No word on whether he also feels bad about the PCAOB, which likely would not exist today were it not for Sarbanes-Oxley, which likely would not exist today were it not for Andy Fastow and Co.

So yeah, it's bad and you should feel bad, Andy.



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