Former Enron Treasurer Gets Five-Year Prison Term
U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt accepted Glisan’s guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and security fraud, and sentenced the former executive to five years in prison, the maximum term for that charge. After his release from prison, Glisan will be under supervised release for three years, Hoyt ruled.
In addition to his prison term, Glisan agreed to forfeit nearly $1 million he gained from an unlawful Enron-related business partnership, called Southampton, and promised he would not seek a refund of $412,000 in taxes he paid on the profit.
“I think I would simply like to say I take full responsibility for my actions,” Glisan said in the Houston courtroom Wednesday morning.
Glisan was then immediately taken into custody; there was no immediate information on where he would serve his prison term.
Glisan had earlier pleaded not guilty to 24 counts of money laundering, wire fraud and conspiracy as part of the government’s 109-count indictment against his former boss and Enron’s former chief financial officer, Andrew Fastow, and other former Enron executives.
The 23 other counts against Glisan were dismissed.
The 37-year-old Texas native was one of Enron’s highest-ranking executives until he was fired in November 2001 after an internal review board discovered he pocketed over $1 million from his initial $5,800 investment in the Southampton business partnership.
In its sweeping 109-count indictment, the government accused Glisan, Fastow and others of creating complex partnership deals, like Southampton, to conceal corporate losses, artificially inflate its earnings, and personally enrich themselves at the expense of Enron and its shareholders.
Fastow’s trial is scheduled to begin April 20. The former executive has pleaded not guilty to fraud, money laundering, insider trading and other charges for allegedly overseeing complex business transactions and phony investment partnerships at the expense of Enron and its investors.
Glisan’s trial would have started on July 20 had he not entered a guilty plea.
Prosecutors said Glisan was not helping them build their case against Fastow and other Enron executives.
“We were never banking on him cooperating with us,” Leslie Caldwell, the lead prosecutor of the Justice Department’s Enron task force, told the Associated Press.
But, “he was viewed as one of the whiz kids at Enron. The fact that he now admitted he created a fraudulent way for Enron to hide things off its books I think will send a somewhat chilling message to other people,” Caldwell said.
Glisan is the highest-ranking Enron ex-official to plead guilty to federal charges, but he is not the first. In August 2002, Michael Kopper, the former director of Enron’s Global Finance unit and another of Fastow’s close business associates, pleaded guilty to money laundering and conspiracy charges.
Prior to joining Enron in 1996, Glisan was an accountant at Coopers & Lybrand in Dallas and later Arthur Andersen in Houston. He worked under Fastow before he was named Enron’s treasurer in 2000. He remained in that top-level post until he was fired for participating in the Southampton partnership, named after Fastow’s affluent suburban neighborhood outside Houston.
Less than one month later, the energy trading company filed for bankruptcy, and disclosed it had hidden an estimated $1.2 billion in losses in off-the-books partnerships.