Timothy Norris Belden (born 1967) is the former head of trading in Enron Energy Services. He is considered the mastermind of Enron's scheme to drive up California's energy prices, by developing many of the trading strategies that resulted in the California electricity crisis. Belden pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud as part of a plea bargain, along with his cooperation with authorities to help convict many top Enron executives.
Belden was sentenced on February 14, 2007, to two years of court-supervised release and the forfeiture of $2.1 million.Federal prosecutors recommended probation because Belden cooperated in the case, assisting with the prosecution of senior Enron executives.
Both Jeff Richter and John Forney were sentenced to probation and fined (Richter $10,000, Forney $4,000).
The maximum statutory penalty for conspiracy, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371, is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. None of which are being met by Belden or the other convicted accomplices John Forneyor Jeffery Richter. All three pleaded guilty to and were convicted of the same one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Belden was known to have received a $5 million bonus from Enron as a reward for the profits he extracted from California for Enron.
He holds a master's degree in public policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC-Berkeley and spent five years working as a researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
In 2009, Belden founded Energy GPS LLC with Jeff Richter in Portland, Oregon, to "provide analysis and advice to clients in the energy industry"
Andrew Stuart "Andy" Fastow is a convicted felon and former financier who was the chief financial officer of Enron Corporation, an energy trading company based in Houston, Texas, until he was fired shortly before the company declared bankruptcy. Fastow was one of the key figures behind the complex web of off-balance-sheet special purpose entities used to conceal Enron's massive losses in their quarterly balance sheets. By unlawfully maintaining personal stakes in these ostensibly independent ghost-entities, he was able to defraud Enron out of tens of millions of dollars. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission opened an investigation into his and the company's conduct in 2001. Fastow was sentenced to a six-year prison sentence and ultimately served five years for convictions related to these acts. His wife, Lea Weingarten, also worked at Enron, where she was an assistant treasurer; she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering conspiracy and filing fraudulent income tax returns, and served jail time before early release to a halfway house.
MCI, Inc. was a telecommunications company. For a time, it was the second largest long-distance telephone company in the United States, after AT&T. Worldcom grew largely by acquiring other telecommunications companies, including MCI Communications in 1998, and filed bankruptcy in 2002 after an accounting scandal, in which several executives, including CEO Bernard Ebbers, were convicted of a scheme to inflate the company's assets. In January 2006, the company, by then renamed MCI, was acquired by Verizon Communications and was later integrated into Verizon Business.
Jeffrey Keith Skilling is a convicted American felon best known as the CEO of Enron Corporation during the Enron scandal. In 2006, he was convicted of federal felony charges relating to Enron's collapse and eventually sentenced to 24 years in prison. The Supreme Court of the United States heard arguments in the appeal of the case March 1, 2010. On June 24, 2010, the Supreme Court vacated part of Skilling's conviction and transferred the case back to the lower court for resentencing.
Operation Fastlink is a coordination of four separate, simultaneous undercover investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Cyber Division, the Department of Justice, the Computer Crimes and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) of the Criminal Division and Interpol. The four different investigations have not been publicly enumerated, but the U.S. Department of Justice has said in at least one press release that "Operation Higher Education" is the largest component, with participation from twelve nations. Mention has also been made of an investigation into pre-release music groups led by FBI agents from the Washington Field Office. As of March 6, 2009, the FBI states that Operation Fastlink has yielded 60 convictions. The raids occurred in similar fashion to those from Operation Buccaneer and Operation Site Down. Other somewhat-related law enforcement actions include Operation Gridlock and Operation D-Elite.
The Death Star strategy was the name Enron gave to their practice of shuffling energy around the California power grid to receive payments from the state for "relieving congestion". According to the company's own memo they would be paid "for moving energy to relieve congestion, without actually moving any energy or relieving any congestion."
Operation Boptrot, also referred to as Boptrot, was an investigation by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) into corruption among the Kentucky General Assembly, the Commonwealth's legislature. The operation was highly successful, with the investigation culminating in several indictments in 1992, leading to the conviction of more than a dozen legislators between 1992 and 1995. The investigation also led to reform legislation being passed in 1993.
Lea Weingarten Fastow is a former Enron assistant treasurer who pleaded guilty to tax evasion and filing fraudulent Income Tax returns. The wife of former Enron executive and convicted felon Andrew Fastow, she was the second former Enron executive to go to prison after Enron collapsed due to fraud in December 2001.
Rita Marie Lavelle is a United States and California State Republican political figure. In 1984, Lavelle was convicted on federal charges of perjury related to an investigation into misuse of the United States Environmental Protection Agency's "Superfund" money during her tenure with the agency, and irregularities at the Stringfellow Acid Pits, a major hazardous waste site. The Lavelle incident was labeled "Sewergate" or "Garbagegate" by the newspapers at the time.
The trial of Kenneth Lay, former chairman and CEO of Enron, and Jeffrey Skilling, former CEO and COO, was presided over by federal district court Judge Sim Lake in 2006 in response to the Enron scandal.
The presidency of Ronald Reagan in the United States was marked by numerous scandals, resulting in the investigation, indictment, or conviction of over 138 administration officials, the largest number for any president in American history.
William "Bill" Shannon Lerach is a disbarred lawyer who specialized in private Securities Class Action lawsuits. The $7.12 billion he obtained as the lead plaintiff's attorney in the case against Enron is currently the largest sum ever recovered in a group of securities class-action lawsuits in U.S. history. In 2007 he pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and was sentenced to two years imprisonment. In 2009 he was disbarred from practicing law in California. As part of the settlement, Lerach would not cooperate as a witness and his law firm would be protected from any further prosecution. Over the course of his career, it has been estimated that Lerach recovered upward of $45 billion on behalf of defrauded investors. Lerach has stated that about 85% of his cases were brought due to insider trading, which he described as “footprints in the snow.”
The Mantria Corporation Ponzi scheme has been described as the "biggest green energy scam" in United States history. A Federal judge in the Securities and Exchange Commission's civil case found Mantria had scammed more than $54.5 million “by egregiously, recklessly, knowingly, and shamelessly perpetrating a fraudulent scheme” that used “misrepresentations, omissions, and blatant lies to induce unsuspecting and unwitting victim investors to liquidate the equity in their homes and take out bank loans to invest in Defendants’ scheme, which was nothing more than smoke and mirrors.” On November 16, 2009, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged four people who targeted those nearing retirement age who were seeking real estate and "green" investments. Many of these securities were offered by Mantria Corporation.
Corruption in Illinois has been a problem from the earliest history of the state. Electoral fraud in Illinois pre-dates the territory's admission to the Union in 1818. Illinois had the third most federal criminal convictions for public corruption between 1976 and 2012, behind New York and California.
Conspiracy against the United States, or conspiracy to defraud the United States, is a federal offense in the United States of America under 18 U.S.C. § 371. The crime is that of two or more persons who conspire to commit an offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States.
United States v. Elizabeth A. Holmes, et al., is an ongoing United States federal criminal fraud case against the founder of now-defunct corporation Theranos, Elizabeth Holmes, and its former president and COO, Ramesh Balwani. The case alleged that Holmes and Balwani perpetrated multi-million dollar wire-fraud schemes against investors and patients. Holmes and Balwani each had their own jury trial.