Frequently Asked Questions
What is Ungagged.net?
Ungagged.net is a webumentary – a collection of stories told by people who experienced or observed prosecutorial abuses committed by the Enron Task Force. These stories are a start to helping people understand the other side of the Enron story, which begins with the company’s bankruptcy. These stories are also an attempt to alert Americans to a vicious trend in law – the unbridled power of federal prosecutors. What happened to the Enron defendants happens to many; we think that the justice system needs a calibration.
What is the purpose of Ungagged.net?
There are two objectives. One is to set the record straight by educating people about what the Department of Justice’s Enron Task Force did to win convictions in the Enron-related cases. By telling our truths quietly and clearly, by telling the stories about what happened to us and those we know, by sharing the truths of our own experiences, we hope that people will understand the other side of the Enron story. The primary objective, however, is to raise awareness about the problem of prosecutorial abuse in the United States of America. This issue is bigger than the Enron cases; the Enron cases are merely examples of the problem. We had never heard of prosecutorial abuse before the Enron Task Force came to town; we now feel duty-bound to share our experiences. We hope that by sharing our experiences, we can sound the alarm. Hopefully, other voices will join ours and Congress will hear us; only Congress can control the powers of federal prosecutors.
Enron is ancient history…why is Ungagged.net worth my time?
Ungagged.net is less about Enron than it is about prosecutorial abuse. Yes, the experiences shared are delivered by those of us who were involved in the Enron-related prosecutions. But the abuses that we experienced are examples of a flaw in the justice system – a flaw that jeopardizes the right of every American to a fair trial. What happened to Ken Lay, Jeff Skilling, Rick Causey, Scott Yeager, Rex Shelby, Kevin Howard, Joe Hirko, Mike Krautz, Dan Boyle, James Brown, Dan Bayly, William Fuhs, Robert Furst, Giles Darby, Gary Mulgrew, David Bermingham, and Sheila Kahanek could happen to you. It happens every day in America; it’s important that people understand that they are not immune just because they are not corporate executives.
What do you mean by “prosecutorial abuse”? What are these stories about?
These stories are about our experiences. For example, the Enron Task Force:
• Kept potential witnesses (the people who were at Enron and had first-hand knowledge about events) from talking to the defendant’s lawyers
Search “Gagging the Witnesses”
• threatened to indict any witnesses who agreed to work with the defense lawyers – and, they kept a Grand Jury seated until after the Lay/Skilling trial, to back up that threat
Search “Enron Grand Jury” and “Gagging the Witnesses”
• indicted people who refused to lie on the stand in order to bear false witness against the Enron Task Force’s ultimate targets
Search “Paul Yeager” and “Scott Yeager”
• indicted people on vague charges (in one case, more than 100 charges) and then grouped these charges into an overriding “conspiracy” charge. Why? Because in a conspiracy case, hearsay evidence is admissible.
Search “Conspiracy” and “Abuse of Charging Function”
• purposefully avoided gathering evidence that could be favorable to the defendants (called “exculpatory evidence”)
Search “Evidence – Exculpatory”
• hid and permitted the destruction of evidence that was favorable to defendants
Search “Evidence – Exculpatory” and “Spoliation”
• failed to turn over exculpatory evidence to the defendants
Search “Evidence – Exculpatory”
• manipulated the notes they took during interviews with witnesses, excluding all exculpatory material
Search “Evidence – Exculpatory”
• withheld exculpatory evidence until it was too late to be useful to the defendants
Search “Evidence – Withheld”
• failed to reveal/admit that their witnesses lied on the stand
Search “Perjured Testimony”
• purposefully manipulated the media, in order to poison the jury pool
Search “Jury – Lay/Skilling Trial”, “Change of Venue” and “Houston Chronicle”
• manufactured false evidence
Search “Global Galactic”
• ensured that their “cooperating witnesses” received comparatively-low sentences
Search “Sentences – Cooperating Witnesses” and “Plea Bargains”
All of these tactics are unconstitutional and supposedly prohibited, yet the Enron Task Force used them – and was permitted to use them – in every Enron-related trial. And federal prosecutors use these tactics every day.
Who is Ungagged.net?
Former Enron employees, defendants, attorneys, and subject matter experts in the disciplines of economics, political science, finance, and civil liberties share their experiences. These experiences were compiled into a webumentary by Diogenes’* Lantern Productions (DLP). DLP’s mission is to shine a light on injustice, in the hope of moving towards reform. DLP is the sole funding source for this webumentary. No one who appears on this website and none of the defendants or attorneys related to the Enron-related trials contributed to the funding of this webumentary.
*According to Greek historians, Diogenes spent his days "searching with a lantern in the daylight for an honest man." And though Diogenes apparently did not find an honest man, he did, in the process, "expose the vanity and selfishness of man."
Why is there so much about Ken Lay?
When Ken Lay passed away, he became one of the very few whose story can be told without repercussion; most everyone else is, in one way or another, still prevented from telling his or her story. Some still face sentencing; others are still in prison. Some still face civil suits; others face re-trials. The Department of Justice will not, to this day, back away from pursuing convictions – even when the appellate court and the Supreme Court have spoken. As people emerge from harm’s way, and from under the blanket of fear the Enron Task Force has suffocated them with, we believe that they will want their stories told. In the meantime, there is a great deal about Ken Lay because his family and attorneys have shared insight and information that other defendants, families and attorneys have not been free to share.
How often will there be changes to Ungagged.net?
There will be frequent changes to Ungagged.net. If you would like to be alerted via e-mail when content is added, then we invite you to register. Simply provide your e-mail address and we’ll send you an e-mail when new content is added. You can also check our facebook page and sign up for tweet alerts for new content.
What are the benefits to registering?
There are two benefits to registering. One is that you will receive e-mail alerts when new content is added. The other is that the content you watch will be catalogued for you from visit to visit, so you can keep track of what you’ve watched and what you haven’t watched. If you choose not to register, then what you’ve watched will be catalogued during each visit, but when you log out, that history will be lost. We will not use your contact information for any other purposes.
Why is Ungagged.net a webumentary?
A webumentary format was selected for a number of reasons:
1. It is flexible and can be updated.
2. It is expandable. As more time passes, we believe that more people will want their stories told; strength in numbers will help to ignite change.
3. A website can have a long life. Many of us want our children to one day understand what happened to us.
4. A low-cost distribution system was necessary.
5. Prosecutorial abuse is an issue that deserves substantive content that can generate discussion and, hopefully, change.
Who will benefit financially from Ungagged.net?
No one and that was not the aim. There are no profit-generating angles to this project. This is an educational site.
Is the message that all of the Enron defendants are innocent?
The message is that Enron Task Force won their convictions unfairly, by abusing their power.