Best of 2006: Law and Order

Enron's big three were convicted this year, but only two went to prison. The WorldCom, HealthSouth, Tyco, and Adelphia criminal sagas also were wrapped up, for the most part, while a dominatrix paid a visit to an accountant.

Stories of corporate crime — and punishment — ran the gamut this year, from the chilling 24-year sentence of Enron’s Jeffrey Skilling and Ken Lay’s sudden death after being convicted to Scott Sullivan’s empty pockets and the sale of Dennis Kozlowski’s multi-million-dollar mansion to pay his debts.

We took the time to analyze larger trends, too, including whether fines levied by the Securities and Exchange Commission deter fraud, and the rise of the white-collar defense lawyer. What’s more, we wound up covering some strange, but true, corporate scandals involving a dominatrix, the death penalty, and a holy mess. Here’s a rundown of CFO.com’s law-and-order coverage, which may rival the new Grisham and Hiaasen novels you got for Christmas.

Where Are They Now?
This week, Enron’s Andy Fastow was sentenced and WorldCom’s Bernie Ebbers reported to jail. Here’s our up-to-date tally of what happened to executives at five of the most infamous financial frauds in Corporate America.

Penalty Box
The SEC is handing out bigger and bigger fines for misdeeds. But is this the right approach?

The Best Defense
In today’s high-stakes legal environment, top white-collar attorneys are ready to defend the CFO.

Fastow Sentenced to Six Years in Prison
The substantial reduction from Andrew Fastow’s original plea agreement of 10 years reflects the value of the former Enron CFO’s testimony against Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling.

Lay, Skilling Guilty
A Houston jury Thursday found former Enron executives Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling guilty of multiple counts of securities fraud, conspiracy, and other charges.

What Skilling’s Sentencing Means
Experts claim the pendulum is swinging away from aggressive enforcement of corporate fraud. Will Monday’s sentencing of the former Enron CEO prove them right?

Ken Lay’s Record Cleared of Convictions
Because he died before he could appeal his conviction, all record of the former Enron chairman’s indictment and conviction is erased.

Feds Want Skilling to Pay Lay’s Share
Federal agencies are coming up empty-handed in their efforts to recoup payments from corporate wrongdoers.

Ebbers Goes to Prison
The 65-year-old former WorldCom CEO began serving what is likely to amount to a life sentence on Tuesday.

CFO Helps HealthSouth Fight Scrushy
Ex-CFO Mike Martin, who faces resentencing for his role in HealthSouth’s accounting fraud, has cooperated in two cases against his former boss, Richard Scrushy.

Probation for Adelphia’s Michael Rigas
He seems to be a good person who ”found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time,” says the sentencing judge. Also: Royal Ahold trial under way in Amsterdam.

Kozlowski Sells $10 Million Mansion
The imprisoned ex-chief of Tyco is selling his Colorado retreat to help pay for the fines and restitution debts he incurred in the corporate scandal he helped spawn.

Accountant Embezzled to Pay Dominatrix
Funds were removed from the Cardiovascular Research Foundation, in part to pay for the services of a certain Lady Sage.

Accountant Gets Death Penalty
Suddenly, Jeffrey Skilling’s 24-year sentence is looking a tad better.

Church CFO Indicted by FBI
Former Feds charge ex-CFO of Cleveland’s Roman Catholic Diocese in a kickback scheme.

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