Newsreal Archives/Critic' Corners

Victim of Enron Scandal?

Court Says - Too Bad!

You think that America is the land of the Free and they have a better system then Canada? Think again.

The difference between Canada and the USA is the illusion the Americans have regarding liberty, something Canada knows nothing about since we did not join in the civil war with the USA, rather we chose to remain with the English Monarch.

The following comment by Ron Branson of Jail4judges, regarding the recent decision by the Federal Court in the USA, between Enron Corp. shareholders and the investment banks, sums up the corruption we are faced with on a daily basis:

There is little more upsetting than to discover that you have been scammed for your entire life-savings and for everything you owned. Notwithstanding this fact, you can take hope in the fact that this is the Land of "Liberty and Justice For All," and so you can always count on your day in court to prove your case! Right? Wrong!

Here in America, we are all laboring under the illusion that for every wrong, there is a remedy. At least that is what we are taught. But, as I have often stated, "If you think your enemy has done you wrong, wait until you get the remedy." I have figuratively likened the remedy in this country to a man who, because of a the actions of a cop who broke his little finger, is taken to the hospital for setting his finger, and winds up being rolled out on a gurney in a full body cast.

What took only five minutes to cause, winds up taking five years of court litigation with numerous attorneys on both side at the cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars with no satisfactory conclusion in the end. All that can be said on the positive side is that you learned a very expensive lesson, i.e., don't ever expect to receive justice in a court.

We have all heard of the fiasco that happened when untold thousands of people trusted the prevailing news that Enron investors would be reaping fortunes! But they were taken by fraud. Now they have spent more of their money in bringing a suit against the banks who were involved in the scam.

However, this past Monday, March 19, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the defendants, and in favor of the involved banks, and dismissed their lawsuit. The court ruled that even if the banks knowingly and purposely defrauded the investors of their fortunes in the Enron Corp. fiasco, they have no remedy via their $40,000,000,000 lawsuit against these banks.

The banks are very pleased with the Monday's decision. But you have to ask yourself how you would feel if you were the victim on such a scam? Not only would one lose faith in the justice system, but it would likely lead one to take unpredictable actions.

-Ron Branson, National J.A.I.L. CIC

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Court: Enron shareholders can‘t proceed

Staff and agencies

21 March, 2007

By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN, Associated Press Writer Mon Mar 19, 6:54 PM ET

NEW ORLEANS - A federal appeals court ruled Monday that Enron Corp. shareholders cannot proceed with a class-action lawsuit against investment banks for their alleged role in the accounting fraud that led to Enron‘s collapse.

"As we have recognized, class certification may be the backbreaking decision that places ‘insurmountable pressure‘ on a defendant to settle, even when the defendant has a good chance of succeeding on the merits," the 5th Circuit opinion said.

Shareholders‘ attorneys argue that Merrill Lynch & Co., Credit Suisse Group and other investment banks that did business with Enron should be held liable for billions of dollars in damages.

"We think it is unfair and wrong under the law," he said. "The basic holding of the court is that even if the banks participated knowingly in a scheme to defraud investors in Enron‘s collapse, you cannot have a class action against the banks."

Lerach said he and other shareholders‘ attorneys are likely to appeal Monday‘s ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court U.S. Supreme Court "as quickly as possible." A trial for the shareholders‘ $40 billion lawsuit was set to start next month, but Lerach said the 5th Circuit‘s ruling will force it to be postponed.

Merrill Lynch spokesman Mark Herr said the company is pleased with the 5th Circuit‘s ruling, but he declined to make further comment.

The Securities and Exchange Commission already has won tens of millions of dollars in settlements with Merrill, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc.

Andrew Fastow, Enron‘s now-imprisoned former finance chief, testified in the shareholder litigation this fall. He acknowledged that some of the transactions Enron conducted with its investment banks created the false appearance of profits and cash flow.

Barclays Bank PLC also is named as a defendant in the shareholders‘ suit. "Barclays is very pleased with the 5th Circuit‘s ruling and grateful that the 5th Circuit agreed with its views," company attorney David Braff said.

The attorneys general supporting the shareholders are from Texas, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont and West Virginia.

By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN, Associated Press Writer Mon Mar 19, 6:54 PM ET