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Enron Fraud: Appoint a Special Prosecutor

January 25, 2002

Re Enron: Let's get this straight. Fraud is fraud.

Enron executives have conspired with their auditors to cook the books to wildly inflate profits and stock prices, failed to report illegal transactions, broken multiple rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission and then instituted a cover-up by a massive destruction of files and evidence. The result has been literally billions of dollars of losses to investors and the virtual destruction of employee 401(k)s, while they manipulated their personal stock options and walked away with millions in illegal profits.

Our attorney general, the overly pious John Ashcroft, has excused himself for conflicts of interest, as has the entire federal prosecutor's office in Houston. The administration is staffed by multiple "graduates" of Enron and is tainted by massive campaign contributions, as are large numbers of representatives and senators of both parties. Isn't it time for a special prosecutor?

Malcolm D. Wise

Ontario

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Regarding all the calls I see for a special prosecutor in the Enron case, with its ties to the Bush administration, I can only say this: a special prosecutor for what?

Until someone can make some sort of illegal connection between the two there is nothing but guilt by association.

When a special prosecutor was assigned to the Whitewater matter, at least there was evidence of a shady land deal and inappropriate pressure being put on people by then-Gov. Clinton to make improper loans, for example.

No linkage of this sort has been made between Enron and President Bush.

And until a linkage is made, all these shouts and murmurs for a prosecutor are nothing but shameless partisanship.

Richard Vaczy

Los Angeles

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I came away from "Why Insiders Get Rich and the Little Guy Pays" (Opinion, Jan. 20) ashamed to be a little guy. While we're busy vilifying the fat cats at Enron and other larcenous corporations for sticking it to us, it might be wise for us "littles" to examine our own culpability in the sticking.

Union membership is at historical lows; we allow our representatives to green-light monopolistic mergers, and we continue to elect politicians who ignore or undermine real campaign finance reform.

Until we start protecting ourselves from corporate avarice, we will continue to be perfect "little" victims.

Russell Buchanan

Woodland Hills

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I fail to understand why President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney are trying to distance themselves from former Enron Chairman Kenneth Lay.

Lay is without question an exemplar of Republican values. Having taken advantage of his position of privilege to maximize his personal wealth, whatever the consequences, this role model of Republican values is at least due a presidential commendation.

Chris Hopkins

Los Angeles

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Is it a coincidence that both Enron and its auditing firm Andersen started massive document shredding operations about the same time? It may be a concerted effort to make sure that all the documents no longer exist. The investigation will be greatly hindered without documents to support the allegations, especially of criminal wrongdoing.

Welcome to the new economy highly touted by this administration.

Wimol Chanjamsri

Rowland Heights

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What slays me is that high-ranking CEOs in large companies quickly learn how to get big money for themselves but in actuality they do not know how to run a profitable business. This includes successful orchestration of deregulation that is also for their further benefit.

Bad management is the bane of our existence.

June Cox

Yucca Valley

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