PracticeAuditNatwest Three hit back at US authorities

Natwest Three hit back at US authorities

British trio up on Enron charges accuse Stateside prosecutors of witholding evidence that could potentially clear their names

The Natwest Three have claimed that US prosecutors are sitting on evidence
that could exonerate them from charges of helping Enron’s CFO snap up a company
on the cheap.

A year to the day after they were extradited, the trio’s lawyers filed a
motion on Monday at the
district
court
in Houston which they requested access to papers they claim
prosecutors hold.

The issue rests on the sale of Natwest’s 50% stake in Swap Sub, an offshore
investment vehicle, which US prosecutors claim that the trio undervalued in
making a deal with the energy giant’s former CFO Andrew Fastow.

US prosecutors based their accusation on data which showed that Credit Suisse
(then called Credit Suisse First Boston), which owned the other 50% of Swap Sub
was paid a total of $10m (£5m) for its stake, but the three bankers have said
that the prosecution has papers which show that the sum included other
transactions.

The motion claims: ‘The $10m went far beyond the mere purchase of CSFB’s
interest in Swap Sub. Mr Fastow compensated CSFB for its contemporaneous
agreement to enter into more than $115m worth of derivatives contracts with
Enron.’

Further reading:

Fastow to detail banks’ involvement in
Enron

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