PracticeAccounting FirmsAndersen’s former Houston man to testify

Andersen's former Houston man to testify

David Duncan, the former audit partner in Andersen's Houston office, responsible for the infamous Enron audit, will testify before a US criminal court today (Monday).

At congressional hearings in January, Duncan, 43, invoked his fifth amendment rights and refused to talk about the Enron accounts, which he was responsible for signing off.

In April he pleaded guilty to obstructing the course of justice.

But his decision to testify now may be linked to a rumoured immunity deal made with law enforcement authorities, which could shield him from prosecution.

Prosecutors will hope to learn whether Duncan acted alone in ordering the shredding of crucial documents relating to the Enron accounts, or whether he acted on orders from above.

As yet nothing has emerged from the trial linking staff or partners in the UK with shredding of Enron documents.

In March the London office of Andersen moved to the centre of the Enron debacle when it was named in a US Justice Department indictment accusing the firm of ‘obstruction of justice’, the first criminal charges to emerge from the scandal.

At the time Andersen admitted that documents had been destroyed in London but not by UK qualified accountants.

Under US law, Duncan could face jailtime of up to 10 years, and a fine of $250,000.

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