Press Release

For Immediate Release
January 14, 2004

Washington D.C.
FBI National Press Office
(202) 324-3691

Remarks of
AD Grant Ashley
Assistant Director, Criminal Investigative Division
Press Conference Announcing the Plea of Andrew Fastow
Washington, D.C.1/14/04

Today's plea is a significant milestone in our efforts to expose and punish those criminally responsible for the collapse of Enron. This ongoing investigation is not a simple case of fraud, but rather a deliberate and sophisticated series of crimes. Fastow and other members of Enron's senior management engaged in a variety of schemes to fraudulently manipulate Enron's publicly reported financial results. These crimes were perpetrated by individuals in positions of trust and responsibility, who made millions while investors lost billions.

The announcement today of the guilty plea of Andrew Fastow, the former Enron Chief Financial Officer is a result of an intensive two-year investigation by Special Agents of the FBI and IRS, and investigators from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The FBI, along with the SEC and the IRS, are continuing to investigate corporate fraud cases where the numerous victims include shareholders, employees, and pension plan investors. At the present time, we are investigating 158 large scale corporate fraud cases - 16 of which have losses exceeding one billion dollars each. We are opening 3 to 6 new corporate fraud cases a month. All told, we have more than 2,500 cases involving securities and commodities fraud.

This announcement is not the end of our efforts regarding the Enron case. To date we have charged 26 individuals and the task force has restrained more than $93 million in proceeds derived from criminal activities. We will hold accountable any individuals who contributed to the collapse of Enron.

On behalf of the FBI, I would like to recognize the contributions of our partners in this investigation. Today's developments are a testament to the hard work and dedication of the men and women of the FBI, the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice and members of the Enron Task Force, which include the Internal Revenue Service and the Securities and Exchange Commission. We thank you all for your service.