The Center for Justice and Democracy
Enron Victims From Across The Country to Make Final Plea for Support
August 14, 2007
Carlton Carl: 202.255.5397 (c), 202.543.0494 (o); firstname.lastname@example.org
Joanne Doroshow : 212.267.2801; 917.548.5263; email@example.com
ENRON VICTIMS FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY
TO MAKE FINAL PLEA FOR SUPPORT
– As August 15 Deadline Nears, Enron Victims Urge Bush, Attorney General Gonzales and Solicitor General Clement to
Hold Enron’s Banks Accountable for Their Role in the
Largest Financial Fraud in History –
Former Enron shareholders from seven states held a news conference by phone today to ask President Bush, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and Solicitor General Paul Clement 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, and was hosted by 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 23 Enron victims sent yesterday to Attorney General Gonzales and Solicitor General Clement asking them 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 tomorrow, August 15, 2007.
Representing the Enron victims at the news conference are Enron retirees and/or investors Charlie Prestwood, Conroe, TX; Buddy and Louise Schwartz, Jonestown, PA; Mike Bessire, Midland, TX; Dr. Richard Kimmerling, Acworth, GA; and Steve Lacey, Salem, OR.
Pennsylvania resident Buddy Schwartz, who participated in the news conference with his wife Louise, expressed the sentiment of the group, stating, “Enron’s banks were as guilty as the company in stealing from investors and lying to credit-rating agencies. This was no small operation. Their scheme stole billions.… I am asking the President to help us, the working class. Please Mr. President, don’t pardon Enron’s banks.”
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. Key members of Congress have also expressed support for the investors’ position in recent days. These include Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), Ranking Senate Judiciary Committee Senator member Arlen Specter (R-PA), Senator Gordon Smith (R-OR), Chairman John Conyers, Jr., U.S. House Judiciary Committee, and Chairman Barney Frank, U.S. House Committee on Financial Services. Yesterday, Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, expressed a similar sentiment in letters to Bush and Clement.
In their letter, the 23 victims state, “We beg you to consider our views. Many of us worked our whole lives for Enron or its predecessor companies. We believed what management told us and invested our retirement savings in the company. For many of us, that’s most of what we have.… Please do not hurt us. We believe the federal government should not side with fraudsters against savers.”
A copy of the full letter and additional background materials can be found at http://centerjd.org.