PracticeAccounting FirmsWatkins says Andersen ‘duped’ Enron Board

Watkins says Andersen 'duped' Enron Board

Enron whistleblower Sherron Watkins has told the House Commerce Committee hearing that along with CFO Andrew Fastow, former CEO Jeffrey Skilling and law firm Vinson & Elkins, Andersen 'duped Ken Lay and Enron's Board'.

The current VP of corporate development and a qualified accountant Watkins, the star witness on Capitol Hill, said yesterday she found it hard to believe Jeffrey Skilling’s claim that he was unaware of dubious special partnerships and Enron’s financial situation when he left the company in August.

After explaining how quickly she became suspicious of the transactions Watkins, who 14 years ago left Andersen after eight years service, said: ‘I’m sure [Andersen] should have known what it was signing off’.

Watkins famously wrote a letter containing her concerns about the company’s accounting to former CEO Ken Lay in August, but she insisted at the hearing: ‘In my humble opinion he did not understand the gravity of the situation.’

Even after she explained her worries Watkins said Lay still didn’t get it.

Although Watkins says the shady transactions were common knowledge at Enron she said: ‘Skilling and Fastow are highly intimidating and very smart. I think they intimidated some people into accepting the transactions.’

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