Attention All Potential Victims
United States v. Robert Furst
Court Docket Number: 03-CR-00363-003
This case is assigned to the Honorable Judge Ewing Werlein Jr. in Courtroom 11D, United States Courthouse, 515 Rusk Avenue, Houston, Texas. A pretrial conference in this case was held on January 14, 2010, at which time Judge Werlein granted the government’s request for a continuance. On May 14, 2010, the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice entered into a twelve month deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with Robert Furst. At the end of that period, the government will dismiss the charges if Furst has complied with the agreement’s requirements, including that he not violate federal, state, or local laws and that he not serve as a director or officer of a public company.
In November 2004, a jury found Furst guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and to falsify books and records and two counts of aiding and abetting wire fraud. In May 2005, he was sentenced to 37 months’ in prison, a $75,000 fine and restitution of $590,000. Furst served approximately 9 months of his sentence. In August 2006, however, the Fifth Circuit overturned the November 2004 conspiracy and wire fraud convictions of Furst and co-defendants James Brown, a former head of Merrill Lynch’s Strategic Asset Lease and Finance group, and Daniel Bayly, former head of the Merrill Lynch’s Global Investment Banking division, holding that the government tried them on an invalid theory of theft of honest services because they had acted in the company’s best interests and had not personally benefitted from the scheme to inflate Enron’s earnings. The court of appeals held that the defendants may be retried on wire fraud (money or property) and books and records charges. The court affirmed Brown’s convictions on charges of perjury before the grand jury and obstruction of the Enron grand jury, and he awaits resentencing. In January 2010, Bayly was dismissed on the government’s motion.