ENRON VICTIMS AND GROUPS ASK PRESIDENT BUSH
TO SUPPORT ENRON VICTIMS IN COURT CASE
Pending Supreme Court Case is Shareholders’ Last Chance
To Fully Recover Funds Lost in Enron Debacle
(Washington DC) - Former Enron shareholders today traveled to Washington DC to ask President Bush to help them hold several of Enron’s banking partners accountable for the shareholders’ lost life savings. The victims were joined at a news conference today by Ken Connor, Chairman of the faith-based conservative group, Center for a Just Society, as well as representatives of the national consumer organization, Center for Justice & Democracy.
The issue concerns the liability of several large investment banks that knowingly participated in the fraudulent scheme with Enron (“scheme liability”), including Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse First Boston, Barclays Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto- Dominion Bank.
The groups released a letter signed by 21 Enron victims sent today to Bush asking him to not intervene on behalf of the defendants in a pending U.S. Supreme Court case that will determine the outcome of the Enron case. Legal briefs in that case, Stoneridge Investment Partners, are due August 15, 2007. CJ&D also began a simultaneous YouTube campaign aimed at President Bush.
Ken Connor said in a prepared statement, “[t]he Center for a Just Society joins these victims of the Enron scheme in calling on the President to forbear filing on behalf of the United States a brief which would undercut the ability of victims of securities fraud to recover the full measure of their damages from the participants of any scheme that defrauded them and caused them harm. We call on the President to reaffirm the importance of holding corporate America to the highest standards of conduct. The survival of our capital markets depends on it.
So far, breaking with precedent, Bush has refused to allow the Securities and Exchange
Commission to intervene on behalf of investors in that case, even though the SEC itself voted to do so, and former SEC Chairs and Commissioners, as well as 33 state Attorneys General, wrote briefs in support of investors.
Yesterday, in a major development, Texas Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) reaffirmed his support for the victims’ position, reflecting his views while Texas Attorney General when he spearheaded an effort in 2002 by 27 Attorneys General to enforce scheme liability in the Enron case. According to Cornyn spokesperson Brian Walsh, “Senator Cornyn stands in support of the shareholders and behind the 2002 brief he filed on behalf of 27 state attorneys general.... The White House will be made aware of Senator Cornyn's views on this matter.”
Also yesterday, Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary, and Rep. Barney Frank, Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services, filed a brief supporting the victims in Stoneridge.
Representing the Enron victims at the DC new conference are Enron retirees Charles Prestwood, George Maddox, Buddy Schwartz, and Stephen & Alice Smith, all of whom lost retirement and/or savings when Enron collapsed.
In their letter, the 21 victims state, “The outcome of Stoneridge will determine whether tens of thousands of Enron victims robbed of our careers, our savings, our retirement, our homes, and our peace of mind can ultimately secure our day in court. Equally important, preserving the ability to hold accountable anyone who knowingly defrauds innocent investors like us will keep U.S. markets the strongest and safest in the world .…We urge you not to file a brief in support of the defendants. Please do not take a position supportive of corporate wrongdoers and against the Enron victims.”
A copy of the full letter and additional background materials can be found at http://centerjd.org.