We went to see the movie “Fun with Dick and Jane” over the weekend. Fun romp with the serious message that big business will backstab workers, steal their pensions, etc., driving them to do desperate things such as lie, cheat, and steal to make ends meet. At the end of the picture, which is produced by and stars Jim Carrey, and co starring Tea Leoni, is the list of shame. The list of shame included companies such as Enron, Adelphia, Tyco and the names of the executives who ran away with the money and/or plundered the company. Among those listed was former accounting giant Arthur Andersen. Arthur Andersen, after it was destroyed in the Enron scandal, was exonerated by the US Supreme Court last MAY! I said out loud, “Hey, Arthur Andersen was found not culpable by the US Supreme Court! (see below)” As you might imagine, nobody cared. Even the producers. I’m thinking they could have done their homework and set the record straight by REMOVING Arthur Andersen from their list of shame. Guess that was too much to ask.
The Supreme Court issued a quick, unanimous and concise defeat to the Government today in Arthur Andersen v. United States, No. 04-368, overturning the accounting company’s conviction for obstruction of justice. (The case was argued on April 27, the last argument day of the current Term, and the Chief Justice’s opinion for the Court was issued less than five weeks later).
The Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned the conviction of the Arthur Andersen accounting firm for destroying Enron Corp.-related documents before the energy giant’s collapse. In a unanimous opinion, justices said the former Big Five accounting firm’s June 2002 obstruction-of-justice conviction — which virtually destroyed Chicago-based Andersen — was improper. The decision said jury instructions at trial were too vague and broad for jurors to determine correctly whether Andersen obstructed justice.