Monday, September 12, 2005

2 down

Wittig, Lake found guilty in Westar fraud case:
A jury on Monday found two former Westar Energy Inc. executives guilty of looting the state’s largest electric utility of millions of dollars.

Former Chief Executive Officer David Wittig was found guilty of 39 counts of conspiracy, wire fraud, circumventing internal controls and money laundering while running the Topeka-based company. Former Chief Strategy Officer Douglas Lake was found guilty of 30 counts of conspiracy, wire fraud, circumventing internal controls and money laundering. Lake was acquitted of seven counts of money laundering, one count of circumventing internal controls and one count of wire fraud.

The jury deliberated for 7 1/2 days before reaching the verdict. The panel of 10 women and two men received the case late Aug. 24 after prosecutors and defense attorneys made their closing arguments 10 weeks after seating the jury. Testimony about whether the government can recover money from the executives is expected to start Tuesday.
This is the Kansas Enron. We can only hope a little bit of the money they looted will come back to the stockholders and customers.

Perhaps they'll describe their interaction with some political action committees and politicians, as well. Get a better deal in exchange for a little time off their sentence. The sentences could add up to millions of dollars in fines and decades in jail.

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