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Jury begins deliberations in retrial of Enron broadband executives

[JURIST] Jury deliberations began Monday in the retrial [JURIST report] of two former Enron [JURIST news archive] executives from the fallen company's broadband department. Former CFO Kevin Howard and senior accounting director Michael Krautz [Houston Chronicle profiles] are being retried after their first trial ended in a hung jury in 2005. Both men are charged [indictment, PDF] with one count of conspiracy and falsifying records and three counts of wire fraud, while three other former broadband executives will also be retried [JURIST report] on insider trading, money laundering, and fraud charges.

Closing arguments ended Monday with prosecutors alleging that Howard and Krautz illegally created earnings for Enron by launching "Project Braveheart," a scheme to put profits on the company's books through a sale promising investors an interest in future revenue for a business line which never made a profit. Prosecutors contend that the deal was a sham because investors were told they would be bought out at a premium, but defense attorneys for the former executives have argued that the buyback never actually occurred. Meanwhile, the jury in the separate trial of former Enron executives Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling [Houston Chronicle profiles] is also still deliberating [JURIST report]. AP has more.

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