Sex and the Conflict of Interest

Under questioning from federal prosecutor Sean Berkowitz, former Enron chief executive Jeffrey K. Skilling testified that he made a "small" investment of about $60,000 in an online photo business set up by former company photographer Jennifer Binder, which Skilling testified did business with Enron with a "small" contract.

Berkowitz asked Skilling why he didn't disclose his conflict of interest with the Enron board. Skilling said it was a small investment and the company might have gone bankrupt before it executed its contract with Enron.

But Berkowitz produced evidence that showed Skilling actually invested $180,000 and that the company made $450,000 from its contract with Enron.

Skilling said he couldn't remember the details of the deal.

"Would you say this was a violation of Enron's code of ethics" for failing to disclose his investment, Berkowitz asked.

"It may be," Skilling said.

"Why didn't you disclose it?"

"It didn't occur to me," Skilling said, looking pained.

Berkowitz wasn't done.

"What was your relationship with Jennifer Bender?" he asked.

"I had dated her, sometime in '98 or '99," Skilling said.

By Frank Ahrens |  April 17, 2006; 3:03 PM ET  | Category:  Dispatches
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