Enron: Who's Accountable?

Inside the growing Enron scandal: how evidence was shredded and top executives fished for a bailout as the company imploded

JAMES NIELSEN/AFP

Just four days before Enron disclosed a stunning $618 million loss for the third quarter—its first public disclosure of its financial woes—workers who audited the company's books for Arthur Andersen, the big accounting firm, received an extraordinary instruction from one of the company's lawyers. Congressional investigators tell Time that the Oct. 12 memo directed workers to destroy all audit material, except for the most basic "work papers." And that's what they did, over a period of several weeks. As a result, FBI investigators, congressional probers and workers suing the company for lost retirement savings will be denied thousands of e-mails...

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