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January 08, 2004 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-01-08

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, January 8, 2004 - 5A

Sources: Former Enron chief financial
officer negotiating guilty plea bargain

Andrew Fastow,
former Enron chief
financial officer,
pictured leaving
the federal
courthouse In
Houston earlier
this year. Fastow,
along with wife
Lea Fastow, Is
negotiating a plea
bargain that could
send the once
high-flying couple
to federal prison.

Federal prosecutors offer
Andrew Fastow 10-year sentence
for his role in 2001 scandals
HOUSTON (AP) - Former Enron Corp. finance
chief Andrew Fastow is negotiating a plea bargain
that could send the high-powered executive to prison
for his role in the accounting scandal that brought
down the energy company, sources close to the case
said yesterday.
Authorities also were drawing up criminal charges
against Enron's former chief accountant, Richard
Causey, who was expected to surrender today,
sources with knowledge of the matter told The Asso-
ciated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The exact nature of the complaint was not immedi-
ately clear.

If attorneys and judges agree on the proposed plea
deal with Fastow, the former executive could appear
in court to change his innocent plea to guilty as early
as today, the sources said.
Fastow would be the highest-ranking executive to
plead guilty in the criminal investigation of Enron.
The company's collapse in 2001 was the first in a
series of scandals that rattled corporate America and
caused the stock market to plunge.
Fastow allegedly masterminded a complex web of
schemes that hid Enron's debt, inflated profits and
allowed him to skim millions of dollars for himself,
his family and selected friends and colleagues.
Fastow's wife, Lea, a former assistant treasurer at
Enron, is negotiating a plea deal along with her hus-
band, the sources said.
The potential plea deal raises the possibility that

Enron's former top executives, Kenneth Lay and Jef-
frey Skilling. Plea deals often involve agreements to
testify against others, but there was no immediate
indication whether that was happening in this case.
The Houston Chronicle, citing sources it did not
identify, reported yesterday that federal prosecutors
are offering Fastow a 10-year sentence. A deal that
called for a five-month sentence for Lea Fastow was
rejected by U.S. District Judge David Hittner yester-
day. The judge said the deal was too binding and he
wanted more leeway on her sentence.
Attorneys for the Fastows did not return calls seek-
ing comment. The family's spokesman, Gordon
Andrew, declined comment.
Fastow, 42, is charged with 98 counts of fraud,
money laundering, insider trading and other charges.
He is free on $5 million bond pending trial scheduled
for April.

prosecutors are closer

to bringing a case against

Inspecting gadgets

Bush plans to keep tax cuts, tighten budget

administration is committed to making
its tax cuts permanent at the same time
it intends to cut the budget deficit in
half within five years, Treasury Secre-
tary John Snow said yesterday.
Snow warned that Congress would
threaten the economic recovery if it
rolled back the administration's tax
cuts, something that President Bush's
Democratic opponents are urging
because of the exploding budget
Instead, Snow said, the administra-
tion would focus on getting Congress
to make the tax cuts permanent, saying
this would be at the "very center" of
the administration's fiscal policy in the
coming budget.
"Let me be perfectly clear: Failure
to make the tax relief permanent
would be a huge mistake and would
put our recovery in jeopardy," Snow
said in an appearance at the U.S.
Chamber of Commerce.

Snow's comments were immediately
challenged by Democrats, who accused

rates both in this country and around
the world.
The IMF report also challenged the

the administration
cies of showering
the rich with mas-
sive tax cuts that
will jeopardize the
government's abil-
ity to honor com-
mitments to 77
million baby
boomers who will
begin retiring early
in the next decade.
The Internation-
al Monetary Fund
also weighed in on
the budget debate
yesterday, with its
economists issuing
a new report warn-

of continuing poli-

"Let me be perfectly
clear: Failure to make
the tax relief
permanent would be
a huge mistake and
would put our
recovery in jeopardy.'
-John Snow
U.S. Treasury Secretary

basic tenet that the
deficit can be dealt
with by a rebound-
ing economy gener-
ating higher
revenues and
stronger efforts to
curb government
"Given the mag-
nitude of this
adjustment (needed
to get the budget
back to balance), it
would seem likely
that both revenue
measures and sus-

In his speech, Snow argued that the
tax cuts had been a major force lifting
the U.S. economy out of a recession
and a prolonged period of sluggish
Snow said a Treasury Department
analysis showed that without the tax
cuts the unemployment rate, currently
5.9 percent, would be a full percentage
point higher and as many as 1.5 million
Americans would not now have jobs.
But Democrats argued that even if
the recent positive job growth continues
through next November, Bush will not
have made up all the jobs lost in the
first three years of his administration,
giving him the worst job creation record
of any president since Herbert Hoover.
"The administration's policies have
created huge deficits that will stifle
future job growth and burden our chil-
dren and grandchildren with debt,"
said Rep. John Spratt, the top Democ-
rat on the House Budget Committee.

Rob Van Bolkland installs a video globe at the Phillips booth of the
Consumer Electronics Show, which opened last night in Las Vegas.
Companies planning
satelVlite video for cars

ing that the exploding U.S. deficits, if
not dealt with, could threaten the global
economy through a sharp plunge in the
value of the dollar and higher interest

tained spending restraints would be
needed," the IMF economists said in a
report entitled, "U.S. Fiscal Policies
and Priorities for Long-Run Sustain-

NEW YORK (AP) - The two
satellite radio companies competing
for the ears of U.S. consumers are
now going for the eyes, too.
XM Satellite Radio and Sirius
Satellite Radio are both debuting
systems that transmit video to auto-
mobiles using the same satellites,
antennas and infrastructure as their
audio networks.
,Jim Collins, a spokesman for Sir-
ius, said the company hopes to offer
three or four video channels within

18 months. Sirius is partnering with
autoparts manufacturer Delphi
Corp. to develop the system.
The price and exact content of the
service has yet to be determined,
but Collins says the company is
looking at tiered plans that would
also offer data such as stock quotes,
traffic information and sports
scores for less than $20 a month.
He said Sirius plans to put full-
motion video on screens visible
only from back seats.

Continued from Page 1A
through this at all. ... It is so stress-
ful. I wish I knew my punishment
and it could all be over. It is not
going away - I'm going to court for
the pre-trial, then in another month I
will be sentenced and I will probably
be on probation for a year," he said.
By comparison, the AAPD's ticket
process falls lightly on small-time
possessors and users, as illustrated

by the case of one 21-year-old Ann
Arbor resident cited by the AAPD
for possessing marijuana.
"I had smoked a roach and I was
rolling a joint, about 0.7 or 0.8 grams
of pot. I got possession, not use of
pot, which was a ticket for $50," he
said. He added that he views the city
ordinance on marijuana as somewhat
of a joke because of the light punish-
ment that it gives marijuana use.
"I just wonder how many times an
Ann Arbor officer would give me a

ticket for smoking a joint on the cor-
ner of South'University Avenue and
East University Avenue before he
took me to jail," he said.
Assistant City Attorney Robert
West said that the AAPD can issue a
person an unlimited number of tick-
ets for marijuana use, but no amount
of tickets can lead to jailtime.
Still, depending on how the per-
petrator intends to use the marijua-
na - as well as the amount in
possession - the Ann Arbor police

can charge the offender for attempt-
ing to sell the drug, an offense that
carries up to four years in prison.
Ann Arbor's decriminalization ordi-
nance does not pertain to persons
who possess the drug with intent to
In addition, Washtenaw County
police and state police follow
Michigan law for marijuana use and
possession, without regard to Ann
Arbor's decriminalization ordi-

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