By Hannah Haney
Enron, America’s once seventh-largest company, went bankrupt and collapsed in December of 2001. The rise and sudden fall of the Texas-based energy-trading giant, captured the nation’s attention and raised questions of ethical decision making in the corporate world.
Michael Anderson, former FBI Assistant Special Agent in charge of the “White Collar Crime Program,” will speak on “The Ethics of Enron” on Wednesday, April 11 at 11:00 a.m. in the Mafrige Auditorium located in the Smith-Hutson Building.
Anderson will discuss the ethics in Enron’s leadership, culture and accounting practices that facilitated criminal behavior and ultimately contributed to the failure of the corporation. He will also disclose details on how the FBI investigated the most complex white-collar crime case in FBI history which resulted in the convictions of 22 people and forfeiture of over $100 million to the victims of the Enron fraud.
“The sad and sobering fact is, the unethical and criminal behavior that happened at Enron commonly happens today in many companies. Regardless of the scale of the fraud or size of the organization, people need to recognize ethical dilemmas and not only respond legally within rules but ethically within the spirit of rules,” Accounting professor Ronald Daigle said. “I believe Anderson will give us much to learn and think about long after his visit. I highly encourage all in the Sam Houston community to attend his presentation.”
The event is hosted by The Sam Houston State University Office of Compliance and the Accounting Department in the College of Business Administration. It is also sponsored with support by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, National Association of Black Accountants and Beta Alpha Psi.
“I look forward to Anderson’s presentation. Having the opportunity to hear firsthand recollections of the Enron scandal will truly enhance and help further shape my view of the importance of ethical requirements and practices set forth by accounting governance,” Whitney Arnic, student and president of the SHSU chapter of NABA said.
The event is free and open to the public but will be of particular significance to those with an interest in accounting or enrolled in business courses.
“SHSU is fortunate to have Anderson speak and share his personal experience with the investigation. The lack of ethics and fraud committed by Enron is discussed in our courses,” assistant professor of Accounting, Cassy Henderson said. “Anderson’s presentation will enhance the learning environment by providing students with knowledge and understanding that cannot be taught in the classroom.”