Former Enron exec Fastow moved to Houston halfway house

May 18, 2011 3:30:08 PM PDT
Former Enron executive Andrew Fastow is out of prison and back in Houston.

Andrew Fastow, the man convicted of cooking the books, is out of prison, serving the remainder of his sentence in a Houston halfway house.

About 8,000 prisoners in the Federal Prison System are in halfway houses. Fewer than 200 leave as they transition their way back into society. Now, Fastow is one of them.

Fastow began his prison term in September 2006. After pleading guilty to various financial crimes and helping the government in its case against former Enron CEO's Jeffrey Skilling and Ken Lay.

This halfway house is the Leidel Sanction Center, part of the Federal Bureau of Prisons Community Corrections Program. There the inmates can leave for work, for education, or medical visits and with permission even visit their families outside of prison walls.

"It allows you to get better acquainted with your family outside of a prison environment," KTRK legal analyst Joel Androphy said.

Androphy has an expertise in defending white collar criminals.

"He got a break by getting six years, but after that, the prison system didn't give him any breaks," Androphy said.

There are of course those, however, who think Fastow has gotten off easily, given the financial burden his accounting schemes ultimately brought to so many.

Sean Jez is an attorney who worked on cases involving more than 1,200 people who sued Fastow and others at Enron for fraud when the company collapsed in 2001.

He says some of those clients have been calling him today.

"A lot of my clients would say that five years, or even six years wasn't enough for what he did to them and to everybody else," Jez said.

According to the Bureau of Prisons, Fastow's sentence is officially over on December 17. He could get out of the halfway house a few weeks earlier, going back home and having an ankle monitor. He then has two years of supervised home confinement and then his debt to society is fully paid.

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