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Enron's Former Broadband CFO Pleads Guilty

Kevin Howard cooked the books after a video-on-demand scheme failed and it was clear that revenue targets would be missed.

W. David Gardner

June 2, 2009

2 Min Read

Enron Broadband Services' (EBS) former chief financial officer, Kevin Howard, pleaded guilty to falsifying books and records and will receive a home confinement sentence, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The charges against Howard and other top executives of EBS date back to 2000, when Howard was involved in the falsification of Enron's Form 10K. Various proceedings against EBS executives have been under way since March 2003, when a team of federal prosecutors and agents called the Enron Task Force brought charges against the former Enron executives.

Other top executives of EBS pleaded guilty to crimes in 2004 and earlier this year completed their prison terms. According to the Department of Justice, Howard faces a maximum sentence of up to 12 months of home confinement.

In announcing Howard's guilty plea, the DOJ issued details of EBS's wrongdoing. In January 2000, Enron launched EBS as Enron's newest "core" business and predicted it would report a loss of $60 million for the year. However, by the fourth quarter of that year, the broadband unit hadn't generated any significant revenue.

"Howard admitted that he and others at EBS and Enron knew that absent a large revenue-generating transaction, EBS would miss the announced target by a wide margin," the DOJ stated in a release, which added that Howard and other EBS executives employed a series of transactions involving video-on-demand technology to attempt to reach certain financial goals. The effort failed and the executives subsequently faced charges.

In U.S. District Court in Houston Monday, Howard pleaded guilty to one count of falsifying books and records, the DOJ stated. Howard is scheduled to be sentenced at a later date.

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