The Enron Barge case was the second trial by the Enron Task Force — the first case tried against individual defendants. This firm represented James Arthur Brown, the former head of Merrill Lynch’s Asset Leasing and Management. Unlike all other Enron cases, the government did not charge the Merrill defendants with securities fraud, but rather, prosecuted the case under an unprecedented use of the honest services provision of the wire fraud statute. The first case tried by the Enron Task Force, United States v. Arthur Andersen, LLP, was reversed by the Supreme Court in a unanimous decision.
Denied bail pending appeal, the defendants served up to one year in prison. Finally, the Fifth Circuit reversed 12 out of 14 counts of conviction against all the Defendants, finding that the indictment was fatally flawed because of the honest services charge. It acquitted Defendant Fuhs entirely after he had served eight months in a maximum security prison. All Defendants were released from prison–after having served sentences up to a year on invalid convictions.
After disclosure of thousands of pages of Brady material, the government ultimately dismissed the conspiracy and wire fraud counts. The Fifth Circuit denied Brown’s appeal for new trial on perjury and obstruction of justice. For more information on this, read Licensed To Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice.
Second Supplemental Brady Motion
USA v. Brown