Court OKs Andersen-Enron $72.5M Settlement

March 12, 2007 ( - A federal judge in Houston has blessed a $72.5 million settlement between Arthur Andersen L.L.P. and investors who charged that the now-defunct accounting firm was complicit in the Enron Corp. collapse.

U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas effectively ended Andersen’s involvement in the $40 billion class action lawsuit, according to a Reuters news report. The settlement was initially reached in September.

Investors’ attorney Keith Park told Harmon during a hearing that it was “a very, very good settlement,” according to the news report.   

Arthur Andersen was convicted in June 2002 of obstruction of justice for its role in the Enron saga. The U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the conviction, but the accounting firm is now virtually out of business.

University of California Board of Regents has recovered more than $7.3 billion, including $2 billion or more each from Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, JPMorgan and Citigroup. The board is lead plaintiff in the case.

However, two defendants, Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. and Credit Suisse Group, are trying to convince the 5 th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans that the lawsuit should have never been granted class action status.The investors’ case against the remaining defendants is scheduled for trial on April 16.

Enron filed for bankruptcy on Dec. 2, 2001.