Case Study Analysis – Enron Corporation

Enron would have been a challenge for even for the most seasoned of criminal investigators. No one criminal investigator has the technical expertise or experience to handle a case of this magnitude. At the time, Enron was the seventh largest company in the United States and was the darling of Wall Street. The lead criminal investigator would have to first begin placing the crime in context as to the size of the corporation; the crimes that were alleged to have been committed; the number of victims, if known; and the number of defendants. This information will be of paramount importance to the DOJ attorneys who would be prosecuting the case and lead agency who would be responsible for a major portion of the funding. Typically, when multiple agencies come together in a task force to investigate a white collar crime, the crime at issue is a pervasive, serious crime, as with Enron. When investigating such a crime, challenges are bound to surface. This is especially true when you integrate multiple law enforcement agencies into the investigation and form a multiagency task force. From a multiagency response standpoint, building on the strengths of different agencies and individuals who are working on the investigation makes good sense. When working with different agencies, and within the parameters of law, ethics, and agency protocols, the investigators should strive to maximize resources and knowledge for those involved in the investigation.

Once a case is initiated, task force members need to develop a working foundation for the criminal investigation and potential legal issues that could surface in conjunction with the investigation. There are many potential issues primarily related to the 4th and 5th Amendments that could surface in conjunction with grand jury testimony, executing a search warrant, processing a scene, and interviewing witnesses and suspects. These issues can be compounded in multiagency investigations such as the BP and Enron cases. It is important to understand how jurisdiction, agency protocols, agency standards, and law come into play to provide a basis for a successful investigation and case conclusion. Enron has been widely recognized as the quintessential example of a white collar crime case that played out in the federal system. The case would become the largest and most complex white collar investigation in the history of the FBI and spawn a unique investigative task force of prosecutors, agents, and analysts in Houston and Washington, D.C., each uniquely skilled at drilling deep into balance sheets and following the money. Their job: to learn how company officials perpetrated fraud on such a grand scale, build a strong criminal case, and hold accountable those who are responsible for the fraud (FBI, 2011).

More often than not, the key for conducting a successful criminal investigation begins with a search warrant and followed by issuance of grand jury subpoenas. Your focus in the early stages of the investigation will be on the crime scene, preservation of the scene, interviewing witnesses, and seizing evidence. Adherence to policy and procedure and agency protocols is of paramount importance and the lead agency will generally brief team members on the standard operating procedures (SOPs) that will be in effect on the crime scene. In the Enron case, the FBI was the lead agency and executed a consent search of Enron’s 50-story corporate headquarters building. The search lasted 9 days as investigators unearthed critical documents and emerged with over 500 boxes of evidence. At the same time, agents conducted more than 100 interviews that helped identify fresh leads for investigators (FBI, 2011).

Instructions

For this assignment, assume the role of an agent trainee for the FBI at the training academy in Quantico, Virginia. In this role, you are studying a broad range of subjects on the fundamentals of law, ethics, behavioral science, interviewing and report writing, basic and advanced investigative, interrogation, and forensic sciences. For one of your classes, you have been asked to conduct a case study analysis on a major white collar crime case. You chose the Enron case.

Using the resources provided, conduct a case study analysis on the Enron Corporation and write a 4–5-page paper on the analysis. Use the Case Study Template given in the resources.

In your case study analysis:

  • Provide an examination of the investigation concepts in the context of the case study. The investigation concepts should include:
    • A short description of what happened.
    • Names of the offenders (both individuals and business entities). Include full names and occupations.
    • Time period over which the offense occurred.
    • Number and type of victims. Victims can include employees, consumers, investors, or governmental agencies.
  • Assess the legal implications in the context of the case study by identifying the following:
    • What are the alleged violations (charges)?
    • When and where did the violations occur?
    • What are the amount and type of losses?
  • Examine the techniques in evidence collection and documentation in the context of the case study by including the methods used to:
    • Gather evidence.
    • Document evidence.

You will complete your work in the Case Study Template, which provides you with the required sections and which you can edit and change as much as you like. When you are happy with your finished work, preview it, make more changes if you like, and then print a PDF file. It is the PDF file or a Word document (you can convert PDF files to Word documents) that you will submit first to Turnitin and then to your instructor for grading.

Note: If you prefer to just work in a Word document, you may skip using the Case Study Template, but you must be sure to include the sections shown in the template in your paper.

Requirements

Your paper should meet the following requirements:

  • Written communication: Must be free of errors that detract from the overall message.
  • Resources and citations: Format according to current APA style and formatting guidelines.
  • Length of paper: 4–5 typed, double-spaced pages, not including the title page, abstract, and reference page.
  • References: A minimum of three references.
  • Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 point.
 
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