PracticeAccounting FirmsAndersen partner in London ‘speeded up’ shredding

Andersen partner in London 'speeded up' shredding

A London-based Andersen partner has admitted to speeding up the shredding of audit documents from Enron's overseas units, according to an FBI agent testifying in the firm's criminal trial.

At the trial in Houston, the court was told how the partner shredded documents after being coaxed by US colleagues.

Raju Bhatia, an FBI agent working on a task force probing Enron’s collapse, said US Andersen partner Michael Jones, on secondment in London, acknowledged that shredding ‘noticeably accelerated in fall 2001’ after a conference call with members of the Houston-based team reviewing Enron’s books.

Jones said David Duncan, the former Andersen partner who headed the Enron audit team, told London staffers ‘that all drafts and e-mails related to the Enron audit should not be maintained,’ Bhatia testified.

Jones made the statement in a February interview with investigators, the agent said.

Andersen is accused of obstructing a federal investigation into whether fraud caused the energy trader’s collapse, resulting in its record bankruptcy in December.

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