The Enron failure pulled back a curtain, and exposed systemic fraud and creative financing at hundreds, maybe thousands of companies. It triggered the reevaluation of books that may have played a part in other corporate failures, and has led to review of how big business does business.
One area that has still not gotten a lot of notice. How the actions of Ken Lay and all the other criminal executives have effected those who worked for them.
Jan. 30, 2006 When Charlie Prestwood retired to his small rural home north of Houston, after 33 years of working in a power plant, he knew exactly what he had in his nest egg.
"1,310,570 dollars and some few cents. That was my life savings," Prestwood said.
Today that nest egg is gone. Like thousands of other former Enron employees, he is still struggling to recover from his loss. He says at his age, 67, he won't live long enough to ever recoup that money.
Mr. Prestwood may be an extreme case, but there are many more who were effected.
It will be interesting to follow this case. He used a shell game, and a staff of accounts, and complacent auditors, to rake in millions. If he had used a gun, or blackmail, there is little doubt of what his fate may be, what will be the result of using business methods for this kind of theft.