Four Merrill Lynch executives were prosecuted Wed. November 3, 2004 for conspiracy and fraud. This was the first criminal trial to emerge from Enron’s 2001 demise.
The details involve the counterfeit sale of interest in power plants mounted on barges to Merrill Lynch. The purpose of the sale was to bolster Enron’s sales in order deceive the general public of Enron’s earnings capacity. The sale was to be bought back in six months. Enron in turn promised to compensate Merrill Lynch in the future by giving them more lucrative business partnership.
Merrill avoided prosecution for their involvement in Enron’s collapse last year by paying a substantial $80 million to the SEC. The compensation settled civil allegations concerning the barge deal, and Merrill never admitted wrong doing.