PracticeAccounting FirmsAndersen jury fails to reach decision

Andersen jury fails to reach decision

The jury in the US government's obstruction of justice case against Andersen has been unable to reach a unanimous decision, forcing the judge in the case to order them to resume deliberations today.

According to reports in today’s Financial Times and US papers the jury has been unable to reach a verdict despite being locked in debate since last Thursday.

‘If the jury is unable to reach a unanimous decision, the Justice Department would be faced with the unenviable choice of retrying the firm or re-engaging in settlement discussions,’ the FT reports.

‘A new trial would likely last as long as the current one, diverting time and resources away from the agency’s core Enron investigation, which was largely on hold while the team was focusing on the Andersen trial.’

Failure to secure a conviction would also be a set back for the US Justice Department, which had hoped to make Andersen its first victory in its six-month-old investigation into the collapse of Enron.

‘Just before 6pm Houston time [on Wednesday], jurors sent US district court judge Melinda Harmon, who has presided over the month-long trial, a note that simply stated: “We are unable to reach a unanimous decision.”,’ the FT reports.

Andersen had faced a single obstruction charge stemming from the mass shredding of Enron-related documents in its Houston office.

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