Judge Postpones First Enron Criminal Trial

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The first Enron criminal trial has been postponed until August, when it became apparent to the judge that the trial would not fit in the available time slot, even if all parties worked on Saturdays.

The Associated Press reported that U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein sent home the 100 citizens gathered for jury selection, which was set to begin this week, in the trial of two former Enron executives and four former Merrill Lynch & Co. executives.

Werlein has a vacation set to begin on July 12. After a 90-minute meeting with attorneys for both sides, he has reset jury selection for Aug. 16, the AP reported.

The six defendants are charged with conspiring to manipulate the energy giant’s books in 1999. The defendants are former Enron finance executive Dan Boyle; Sheila Kahanek, a former in-house Enron accountant; Daniel Bayly, formerly Merrill Lynch's chairman of investment banking; Robert Furst, former managing director who answered to Bayly; James A. Brown, former head of Merrill's asset lease and finance group; and William Fuhs, former vice president who answered to Brown, the AP reported.

The six are charged with conspiracy for allegedly helping push through Enron's sham sale of Nigerian barges to Merrill Lynch to help the energy company appear to have met earnings targets, the AP reported.

Read more about the specific charges in the case against the six defendants.

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