[JURIST] Former Enron [JURIST news archive] accounting chief Richard Causey [CBS profile] received a 66-month prison sentence Wednesday for authorizing bookkeeping practices that allowed Enron to defraud investors of billions of dollars. Under the original slate of 35 charges against him, Causey had faced up to 20 years in prison. In December he accepted [JURIST report] a plea deal [PDF text] offering a maximum seven-year prison term for pleading guilty to one count of fraud and forfeiting $1.25 million. His plea deal and agreement to co-operate with prosecutors came just days before the scheduled trial [JURIST report] of fellow ex-Enron executives Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling [JURIST news archives], who were later both found guilty of fraud.
Causey was the key figure responsible for getting Arthur Andersen LLP to sign off on off the book partnership deals that allowed Enron to disguise billions of dollars in debt. In his plea he admitted to conspiring to deceive investors and artificially inflate Enron stock value. Reuters has more.