John Kroger “Less Boring Than He Looks”

The faint praise of the interview headline notwithstanding, this conversation with the former Enron Broadband prosecutor left me with the impression that he’s not only evil, he really is boring:

MD: Could you give me an idea of some of the other alternative titles that were proposed? I’d be interested.

JK: I don’t remember…boy, it’s funny — I was thinking, just as you asked that first question I was thinking about the process of choosing the title and I don’t even remember. We had a working title for a long time, but I don’t remember what it was.

How about Tales of My Douchebaggery? That certainly would have been more honest.

Weirdly, he spends the longest amount of the interview time talking about Lea Fastow. He spends not even a sneeze on the Broadband Three, his so called “big fish”. Maybe he’s just embarrassed by the whole thing, though I doubt it. He doesn’t even have the conscience to be ashamed of what he’s done.

Cara Ellison


  1. Comments from the blog that people might want to read. Also go check out the actual Skilling filing that shows the DOJ withheld key info on purpose.

    Concerned Citizen said:

    He presumed Skilling and Lay to be guilty even though he was armed with the fact that Fastow told the DOJ and FBI in the first 302 that they did not know about the Global Galactic agreement.

    See the Houston Clear Thinkers for more details on the importance of the Fastow’s testimony about the Global Galactic Agreement in the Trial. http://blog.kir.com/archives/002975.aspreement

    See articles and the Skilling appeal to the court and to the 5th Circuit for more details but this issue of the Government hiding the 302. This withheld evidence by the DOJ, states clearly Fastow said Skilling did not know about the Global Galactic Agreement. This is a disturbing fact about the DOJ that has come out. This means it was known from the beginning by the DOJ/Kroger that Skilling and Lay did not know what Fastow was doing that was illegal.

    This was a key piece of information withheld by the DOJ/Kroger during the Skilling/Lay indictment period. Also it was withheld again during trial.

    How can he act like he had a hard decision to make about this Lea Fastow issue? They broke the law by withholding evidence to get someone they believed was guilty (Skilling and Lay). How can he acts like he knew Skilling and Lay were guilty armed with this kind of knowledge? How can he sit by and watch this abuse of power or participate in it?

    If Kroger admits here in this blog that he will put a woman in jail for 1 year (in one of the worst jails in Texas who has kids and a Dad under indictment) and justify it by saying they had to get the bigger fish which he presumed were guilty, why do you think you are safe as a citizen?

    This quote from this blog below is totally presumptive of guilt.

    MD: Why was the indictment of Lea Fastow more troubling to you than prosecuting Gregory Scarpa, Junior?

    JK: Well, Scarpa killed a lot of people, and when you have a case like that, it’s just very easy to prosecute, from an ethical and moral standpoint. I mean, with Scarpa, I had no doubt that he was guilty. I was 100% certain he was guilty. And I was 100% certain that if he was not convicted, it was very, very likely that he would kill someone again. And so, from a prosecution point of view, that’s a case that’s very easy to do, that’s very rewarding to do. The Lea Fastow case was really troubling. She had committed a crime, she had committed tax fraud, and she pled guilty to that crime. But the challenge was, most people who commit tax fraud in the United States are not prosecuted. What happens is that the Internal Revenue Service contacts them, they audit them, say, “Look, you failed to file your taxes,” and they give you a big penalty, and you have to pay your back taxes and the penalty, and that’s it. We just don’t prosecute that many people for tax fraud in this country. And the amount of fraud, in her case, was not that large, and it is most likely that, had she not been married to Andy Fastow, and had just been an ordinary person who had committed tax fraud, she would have paid a fine and that would have been it. And instead, she was being treated differently. She was being criminally prosecuted precisely because the government wanted to put pressure on her husband to get him to cooperate in the case. The book is designed in part at a really simple level, which is, interesting stories about what criminal law is really about, but it’s also about ethical dilemmas that arise in prosecution. And that was a case with an ethical dilemma — do you prosecute someone who normally wouldn’t be prosecuted to put pressure on her spouse to get him to cooperate, knowing that that’s probably essential if you want to win the overall case against Jeff Skilling and Ken Lay? Or, do you treat her like she would be treated if she was an ordinary person, and run the risk that someone like Ken Lay or Jeff Skilling will go free? And there’s not a simple answer to that question, so that’s why that case was more difficult for me, certainly

    Amazing admission!!

    What if they were innocent and Fastow really did do all of the bad stuff at Enron? Seems like that might have been a question they could have asked themselves.

    He admits the Government put a woman in prison with children so they could put more pressure on the real guy that did the bad things at Enron. The lower guys in the Mafia are part of an illegal organization.

    If you work for a company and something happens bad does that mean that you are a criminal for working at the company? Is it OK to go after the wife of someone that did break the law at that company so you can get the CEO and COO who you believe are bigger fish?Does the logic of all organized crime members are guilty of a crime apply to all employees of all companies? Or just companies that go broke? Why is it OK to apply organized crime logic to businesses?

    The Blog Houstons Clear Thinkers does a good job of reporting the weak case the Gov had against Skilling and Lay. See http://blog.kir.com/archives/2006/04/layskilling_wee_11.asp

    It is evident now that Fastow did lie on the stand because of pressure to reduce his sentence which worked both for the Government and for Fastow. Since it worked why will they stop on the next case? What if it is you?

    Skilling is in prison for 24 years and they put Lea Fastow in jail for something no one else would even have been prosecuted for? How can he sit there and admit to such abuse of power and be the attorney general?

    The moral bankruptcy of this individual is frightening when you consider he makes decisions every day to prosecute people. He knows how the system works (to hide evidence as the prosecution) but sits there and presumes people guilty to justify his actions. This is frightening as a citizen.

    re-read the quote from your blog and pretend you were Lea Fastow. Also pretend you were Skilling. Then imagine that you were innocent. See how it would feel to be one of those people Kroger was going after. Maybe people in Oregon should be concerned?

    Go to http://blog.kir.com/archives/2008/03/the_stench_of_p.asp to read a good blog on the issue.

    go to here to read the blog about this in more detail. http://blog.kir.com/archives/2008/03/more_rumblings_2.asp

    To read the actual Skilling Filing on this abuse go to . http://blog.kir.com/archives/2008/03/more_rumblings_2.asp

    So Kroger will put a woman in jail he admits should not be in jail if it was anyone else. Could he have made some of those tough decisions when he decided to indict innocent people in the Broadband case? Is it possible?

  2. Excellent comment, Observer. You asked, Could he have made some of those tough decisions when he decided to indict innocent people in the Broadband case? Is it possible?

    I hate to tell you this but he’s admitted to that. Check out one of my previous posts about another interview with Kroger in which he says:

    The CEO and the COO both pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to mislead investors and testified against Jeff Skilling and Ken Lay at their trial. Without their testimony, Skilling might not have been convicted. Thus, my decision to seek their indictment proved very important.

    To which I said:

    I can understand puffing up your resume if you have to, so I don’t begrudge Kroger that. However, one must take a sharp eye to the comment that Skilling might not have been convicted without the testimony of Ken Rice (CEO) and Kevin Hannon (COO). In the first place, one might ask: what would be so terrible about a man who is demonstrably innocent being acquitted? And one must ask, is it worth bringing down two men – Rice and Hannon – to secure the “big fish” (ie, Skilling and Dr. Lay)? Is that really the sort of justice we want?

    So once he ensnared Hannon and Rice to get Skilling and Lay, he had to make a “tough decision” to go after other Broadband defendants in order to make his indictments appear valid. If there was a conspiracy in Broadband, surely it would not be isolated to Rice and Hannon. It would have to filter down to oh, let’s pick Rex Shelby, Scott Yeager, Joe Hirko, Michael Krautz and Kevin Howard.

    So basically he went fishing for five innocent men to justify getting another innocent man (Skilling).

    I don’t want any part of Kroger’s “ethical” decisions. He sounds an awful lot like an arbitrary jagoff throwing his power around.

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