Andrew Fastow, born as Andrew Stuart Fastow, is a convicted criminal and business executive. He was the chief financial officer of Texas-based energy trading company Enron Corporation until he was expelled by the company shortly before it declared bankruptcy. He was one of the major figures behind the company’s “web of off-balance-sheet special purpose entities.” By illegally maintaining individual stakes in these independent ghost-entities, Fastow defrauded the company out of tens of millions of dollars. As a result, he was charged of conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering, false statements, securities fraud, and insider trading and was sentenced to six years in jail. He completed his jail term in 2011. Fastow, who has become a speaker today, has addressed several organizations after his release. He once spoke at the University of Colorado Boulder Leeds School of Business and at Miami University in Oxford on business ethics. He has also addressed the students of the University of Minnesota, University of St. Thomas, University of Houston Bauer College of Business, University of Texas, University of Missouri School of Accounting, and University of Southern California's Leventhal School of Accounting, to name a few.
Initially Andrew Fastow worked in Chicago’s Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust Company. Then in 1990, he was hired at the Enron Finance Corp. Eight years later, he became the Chief Financial Officer of the company.
In the late 1990s, deregulation in the American energy markets provided Enron with several trade opportunities. Fastow developed a complex web of corporations with the dual purposes of making money for Enron while also hiding the severe losses in its quarterly balance sheets.
By way of this process, Fastow was able to make the company’s balance sheet appear debt-free; however, in reality it owed more than thirty billion dollars at one point. Fastow himself had an individual financial stake in these funds and he eventually pressurized some of the largest American banks to invest in his funds. He also contacted the analysts of these firms and threatened to fire those who dared to report his company with negative ratings. Fastow's approach was so successful that the year before the company declared bankruptcy, its stock was at an all-time high of $90.
On October 31, 2002, Fastow was charged of fraud, money laundering, conspiracy, and other such crimes. On January 14, 2004, he agreed to serve a 10-year prison sentence. However, in the end he received a shorter sentence of six years as he had agreed to become an informant. He was released in December 2011 after serving his sentence.
Following his release he accepted a job as a document review clerk for a law firm in Houston.
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Andrew Fastow was born as Andrew Stuart Fastow on December 22, 1961 in Washington, D.C., USA, to Joan and Carl Fastow. He studied at the New Providence High School and later on graduated from the Tufts University in 1983. Then he received his MBA degree from the Northwestern University.
Fastow married Lea Weingarten (daughter of Miss Israel 1958 Miriam Hadar Weingarten) in 1984. The couple had first met while studying at the Tufts University.