Kenneth L. Lay, former Enron Chairman and CEO (resigned Jan. 23, 2002)
Lay and Enron poured millions of dollars into both political parties, cultivating access and using the entree to lobby Congress, the White House and regulatory agencies for action that was critical to the energy company's spectacular growth. In addition to being one of the single largest financial backers of President George W. Bush's political career, Lay is also one of the president's friends.

With the exception of a six-month period in 2001 when he relinquished the CEO title to his successor, Jeffrey Skilling, Lay held the top two positions in the company since February 1986 until January 2002. Lay was named to the position of CEO in February 1986, following the merger of Houston Natural Gas and InterNorth, Inc. in July 1985.

Andrew Fastow, former Enron Chief Financial Officer (ousted Oct. 24, 2001)
Fastow was removed as Enron's CFO on Oct. 24, 2001 as the SEC began a probe into conflicts of interest in two partnerships he created and managed. Those partnerships earned him around $30 million in management fees from the deals in addition to his Enron salary. In October 2002, Fastow was charged and indicted on 78 counts of securities, wire and mail fraud, money laundering and conspiring to inflate Enron's profit.

Fastow was named CFO in March 1998. Prior to that he was senior vice president of finance.

Michael J. Kopper, former Enron director in global finance unit
Kopper served as a right-hand man to Fastow and was the architect of many of the off-balance-sheet partnerships that concealed millions in Enron debt. Fastow and Kopper allegedly helped three British bankers defraud their employer, National Westminster Bank PLC, of more than $7 million in connection with a stake in an Enron-related partnership in 2000.

Kopper and his domestic partner, William D. Dodson, reaped $10.5 million based on a $125,000 investment in a partnership called Chewco, according to an investigative report issued by Enron's board of directors.

Kopper left the company in June 2001 and separately collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary and bonuses during his seven-year tenure at Enron - as well as six-figure annual fees for managing the partnerships.

In August 2002, Kopper pleaded guilty to financial wrongdoing and agreed to surrender $12 million in the first criminal case against a company official.

Kopper, 37, is a native of New York's Long Island who attended Duke University and the London School of Economics.

Greg Whalley, former Enron President and Chief Operating Officer (resigned Jan. 28, 2002)
The Treasury Department disclosed that Enron President Lawrence "Greg" Whalley had "six to eight" conversations last fall with Treasury Undersecretary Peter Fisher, including one in which he asked Fisher to call Enron's lenders as they decided whether to extend credit to the company.

Whalley was president and chief operating officer of Enron Wholesale Services. He joined Enron in 1992. Whalley holds a bachelor's degree from The United States Military Academy and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Jeffrey Skilling, former Enron Chief Executive Officer (resigned Aug. 14, 2001)
Senior Enron executives criticized former CEO Skilling about possible conflicts of interest in two partnerships he created with former Chief Financial Officer Andrew Fastow. Jeffrey McMahon, then Enron's treasurer, was "highly vexed" about the conflicts, "complained mightily" and suggested a list of remedies.

Skilling served as the CEO of Enron for six months in 2001 before resigning for personal reasons. He joined Enron in 1990 after leading McKinsey & Company's energy and chemical consulting practices. He became president and COO in December 1996 and served on the company's board of directors

J. Clifford Baxter, former Enron Vice Chairman (resigned May 2, 2001)
Baxter's complaints about secret partnerships were cited in a letter to then-Chairman Kenneth L. Lay in August of 2001, by former Vice President Sherron Watkins.

Baxter was one of 29 former and current Enron executives and board members named as defendants in a federal lawsuit, after he sold 577,436 shares of Enron for $35.2 million before Enron's collapse.

Baxter resigned as vice chairman on May 2, 2001 and at the time was credited for helping build Enron's wholesale business. He was found shot to death in a car Jan. 15, 2002, in an apparent suicide.

Wendy L. Gramm, Enron Director
Gramm is on Enron's Board of Directors, serving on its audit committee, a key place where accounting problems could have been aired. Gramm is married to U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Tex.)

Before joining the Mercatus Center at George Mason University as the director of regulatory studies, Gramm served as chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission from 1988-1993. She was administrator for information and regulatory affairs at the Office of Management and Budget from 1985-1988, the executive director of the Presidential Task Force on Regulatory Relief, and director of the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Economics.

Sherron Watkins, former Enron Vice President for Corporate Development
According to congressional investigators Watkins is the internal whistleblower who in August of 2001, more than two months before Enron disclosed it had overstated its profits and understated its debts, warned Kenneth L. Lay that the company might "implode in a wave of accounting scandals." Shortly after Enron Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Skilling suddenly resigned. Watkins described "a veil of secrecy" around partnerships involving the energy-trading company's former chief financial officer, Andrew Fastow. Related Article

Arthur Andersen
The job of Arthur Andersen, one of the nation's largest accounting firms, was to make sure investors could rely on Enron's financial statements. But Andersen also was a major business partner-soliciting and selling millions in consulting services to Enron. Andersen was also responsible for some of Enron's internal bookkeeping, and some Andersen executives ended up taking jobs at Enron.

Arthur Andersen questioned Enron about debt transferred to partnerships.

Arthur Andersen fired lead Enron auditor David Duncan after learning that he ordered the shredding of documents related to the audit. An attorney for a former employee has alleged that Enron workers continued shredding documents as recently as the second week of January.

Led by then-chief executive Joseph F. Berardino, Arthur Andersen took its case public, saying it would take "all appropriate steps" to defend its integrity. Berardino also suggested that the company might stop selling consulting services to firms it audits. Barardino has since resigned from the firm.