Like a moth caught in a spider's web, former Andersen partner David Duncan has once again had his sentencing postponed so that the prosecutors from the U.S. Department of Justice can continue to question and interview him in conjunction with their investigations of Enron, Andersen, and executives from both companies.
Mr. Duncan plead guilty to obstruction of justice last April and was scheduled to be sentenced in August. The sentencing was postponed until October, then again it was rescheduled for January 3. Now U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon who has been the sitting judge during the Andersen investigation and trial has agreed to a prosecution request to reschedule the sentencing once again. The new date is set for May 16, 2003. Mr. Duncan's attorneys did not oppose the motion for rescheduling.
Mr. Duncan was the partner in charge of the Enron audit when the Securities and Exchange Commission decided to investigate Enron's finances. Big Five firm Andersen, Enron's auditor, had knowledge of the pending SEC investigation when Mr. Duncan began ordering his staff to shred and otherwise dispose of documents and electronic correspondence relating to the Enron audit. It has yet to be determined whether any of the destroyed data had any bearing on the subsequent investigations.
As part of his plea agreement, Mr. Duncan agreed to cooperate with the Justice Department in its investigation and testify when needed. He faces a potential 10 years in prison in addition to fines.