3 Britons charged in Enron fraud
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -- In a case that may shed light on the complicated partnerships that destroyed Enron, the Department of Justice Thursday charged three former bankers with wire fraud in a $7.3 million scheme involving the collapsed energy trader.
The three British men were employees of Greenwich Nat West, which was bought by Royal Bank of Scotland two years ago. They are charged with one count of wire fraud, based on a scheme to defraud Nat West.
The men were identified as Gary Steven Emigre, 40; Gilles Robert Hugh Darby, 40; and David John Birmingham, 39.
The complaint, filed by the Justice Department's Enron Task Force, alleges that through a series of financial transactions, the former bank officers had secretly invested in an Enron special purpose entity, Southampton LP, and were able to siphon off $7.3 million in income that should have gone to Nat West.
The complaint, filled in U.S. District Court in Houston, says the three men recommended that the entity be sold for $1 million even though they knew that it had a value of $7 million to $9 million.
The men secretly negotiated their own purchase of Neatest's interest, receiving the $7.3 billion belonging to their employer, according to the complaint. They set up, along with Enron executives, the offshore partnership needed to carry out the plan, the complain alleges.
"This complaint shows that we intend to address the conduct not only of Enron but also of those who capitalized on Enron's willingness to enter into account-driven transactions that lacked business purpose and served merely to enrich those involved," Leslie Caldwell, director of the Justice Department's Enron task force, said.
Enron filed for the largest bankruptcy on record in December after overstating profits. Some of the financial deception involved offshore partnership able to hid various liabilities from investors.
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