BusinessCompany NewsAndersen clears Andersen in Enron probe

Andersen clears Andersen in Enron probe

Andersen's internal investigation into the shredding of documents on its former audit client Enron has provisionally cleared the firm's top managers of responsibility for document shredding.

This despite the firm admitting to financial watchdog the Securities and Exchange Commission that it had disposed of ‘a significant but undetermined number of Enron-related documents’ and after having sacked lead audit partner David Duncan, the man in charge of the Enron account.

Furthermore, three Andersen executives, including John Stewart, Andersen’s director of US accounting standards and a member of the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s Emerging Issues Task Force have already been indirectly linked to the Enron case. The two others are Amy Ripepi, head of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ SEC Regulations Committee; and Michael Odom, Andersen’s head of risk management in the firm’s Houston office.

According to Newsweek magazine, Andersen investigators concluded the shredding of documents, began after a lawyer in the head office sent her Houston colleagues a copy of Andersen’s document retention policy.

But rather than point the finger of blame at top management, the Andersen team ‘tentatively concluded’ the shredding had nothing to do with the letter. Rather, they believe the shredding resulted from collusion between some Enron employees and members of Andersen’s Houston office.

An Andersen spokesman told Newsweek the internal investigation is continuing and that ‘no conclusions have been reached’.

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