Enron's former chief accounting officer, Richard Causey, has struck a plea bargain with federal prosecutors and will avoid going to trial with the fallen energy company's two top executives, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.
Causey was expected to plead guilty Wednesday to one or more of the 34 criminal charges pending against him, this person told The Associated Press Tuesday on condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the discussions.
Causey, 45, agreed to testify against his former bosses, Enron Corp. founder Kenneth Lay and former CEO Jeffrey Skilling, in exchange for a much lesser prison sentence than he would receive if convicted on all counts. The trial is scheduled to begin next month, but a delay is considered likely since defense attorneys would want more time to prepare for the government's new witness.
Causey is charged with fraud, conspiracy, insider trading, lying to auditors and money laundering for allegedly knowing about or participating in a series of schemes to fool investors into believing Enron was financially healthy. The company imploded in late 2001 amid disclosures of complicated financing schemes that gave the appearance of success.