Updates: Boeing, Jobs, Enron

Former Boeing executive sentenced; more bad news on the jobs front; prosecution rests in Enron trial; Hollinger lawsuit dismissed; another Wells notice for Friedman's; Krispy Kreme probe now a formal order of investigation.


• Former Air Force official Darleen Druyun was sentenced to nine months in prison after admitting she helped Boeing Co. obtain an inflated price on a $23 billion contract while she was seeking a job at the company, according to the Associated Press. Offering a tearful apology, she reportedly said, “to my nation, to my Air Force…I deeply regret any damage I have done.” She had pleaded guilty earlier in the year to conspiring to violate conflict-of-interest rules by negotiating with Boeing for a job while overseeing consideration of a major Pentagon deal.

• More bad news on the jobs front. U.S. employers added 96,000 workers in September, far fewer than the 148,000 that analysts had expected, even as two major companies announced large layoffs. AT&T Corp. announced that it is cutting at least 7,500 more jobs and now plans to shrink its workforce by more than 20 percent, compared with its previous estimate of an 8 percent reduction for 2004. And Bank of America Corp. announced that it will cut 4,500 jobs, bringing the total workforce reduction to 17,000, or 36 percent, since the FleetBoston acquisition.

• Prosecutors rested their case in the first Enron criminal trial, involving a $12 million sale of three electricity-generating barges off the coast of Nigeria in 1999. The defense will begin presenting its case this week in federal court in Houston.

• A federal judge dismissed Hollinger International Inc.’s lawsuit seeking $1.25 billion from ex-CEO Conrad Black and other former company executives, according to the Associated Press.

• Jewelry retailer Friedman’s Inc. announced that it received a supplemental Wells notice from the Securities and Exchange Commission, which indicated that the regulator may recommend that the registration of Friedman’s shares be revoked or suspended. The SEC and the Department of Justice have been investigating the company since its November announcement that it would restate its financial results from 2000 through 2003.

• Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. announced that the Securities and Exchange Commission has elevated its informal probe to a formal order of investigation of its accounting practices.

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