A local attorney who worked with employees and investors of the Enron scandal recalls the impact it had on their lives.
“Some of them lost their life savings, but a lot of them lost thousands and thousands of dollars and it changed their lives forever,” said Sean Jez.
Jez is a personal injury attorney in Houston and worked with many people affected.
“We represented about 1,400 investors and employees who had lost lots of money in this process. It was one of the craziest rides I think I was ever on,” said Jez.
Because Enron filed for bankruptcy, the cases were more challenging.
“Obviously, Enron itself was carved out of our lawsuits because the bankruptcy proceedings. We had to proceed against the individuals, the executives, the outside directors and a lot of the banks,” he said.
None of their clients recovered all their losses, but two decades later, Jez said many have grown.
“Over time, they were able to move on financially and emotionally, it was a big emotional drain to a lot of these people,” said Jez.
Enron’s off-balance-sheet accounting practices urged Congress to pass the Sarbanes-Oxley act in 2002 to help protect investors from fraudulent financial reporting by corporations.
Jez said investors must be on alert.
“I think if you’re investing in something and it looks too good or sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” he said.