Wife of former Enron FD jailed for 12 months

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The most tangled criminal case arising from the Enron collapse reached a partial conclusion yesterday when Lea Fastow, the wife of the company's former finance chief, was jailed for a year for helping him in his tax evasion schemes.

The most tangled criminal case arising from the Enron collapse reached a partial conclusion yesterday when Lea Fastow, the wife of the company's former finance chief, was jailed for a year for helping him in his tax evasion schemes.

The sentence was the stiffest that Ms Fastow, a former Enron assistant treasurer, could have been given after her guilty plea to a misdemeanour offence of filing a false tax return. The judge did not impose a separate fine but ordered that she submit to judicial supervision for a year after her release.

Her punishment came after the failure of earlier deals aimed at minimising the time she would spend away from her two children.

In January, her husband Andrew Fastow, Enron's former chief financial officer, pleaded guilty to conspiring to committing wire and securities fraud. In return, he agreed to hand back $24m (£13m) of ill-gotten gains and to serve 10 years in jail.

As a result of Mr Fastow's co-operation with government prosecutors, indictments were issued against Jeffrey Skilling, Enron's former chief executive, and the group's former chief accountant Richard Causey. However Kenneth Lay, its chairman and a major financial backer of President George Bush, has yet to be charged with any offence.

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