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Lea Fastow asks for early release from prison

[JURIST] Lea Fastow, wife of former Enron [corporate website; JURIST Hot Topic archive] chief financial officer Andrew Fastow [Wikipedia profile], is asking for an early release from prison. Fastow's attorney has requested that US District Court Judge David Hittner vacate her one-year prison term after pleading guilty to willfully delivering a 2000 income tax return which she knew to be fraudulent. Fastow admitted to lying about income she received from an Enron side deal which was disguised as a gift on the tax return. While the charges do not directly relate to the Enron collapse, prosecutors pursued the charges as a way to pressure her husband to cooperate with investigators. Fastow's sentence is twice the normal sentence imposed. Prosecutors counter by saying Fastow's cooperation with the government does not raise to the level where she should receive an early release. If the judge rules in favor of Fastow, she could be released as early as Monday. Read Fastow's original indictment [PDF] and plea bargain [PDF]. The Houston Chronicle has more on this story, as well as continuing coverage of the Enron collapse.

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