According to a report by The Augusta Chronicle, on the night of October 3, former Enron Corp. executive and whistleblower Sherron Watkins spoke to a packed hall at Georgia Regents University about her role in uncovering one of the largest corporate scandals in American history.
The 2001 Enron scandal involved large-scale corporate fraud, the revelations of which dominated the national conversation and impacted the public’s trust in monolithic companies and corporations. Thousands of employees were laid off. Billions of dollars in investments went down the drain. Top company executives were tried and sent to prison.
Watkins started working for Enron in 1993. Soon after the scandal erupted, she resigned as vice president of corporate development.
Back in August 2001, she discussed the company’s accounting inconsistencies, particularly the half a billion dollars of losses that was covered up in 2000, with Enron Chairman Ken Lay, hoping that the company’s affairs would be set right. However, Lay responded by attempting to have her fired. Other employees who spoke out against the company’s fraudulent business practices were either demoted or ignored.
Watkins said the employees “were smart people that had stopped asking questions” due to intimidation from company executives.
At its early stages, Enron held very different values, such as integrity, transparency, and respect. A Martin Luther King Jr. quote was even displayed on company products. However, over time, greed corroded the company’s honorable values and corruption snowballed, resulting in the scandal.
Since leaving Enron, Sherron Watkins has written a book on the Enron scandal, embarked on speaking tours around the country, and was even named one of TIME Magazine’s 2002 People of the Year.
If you have witnessed fraud, corruption, or other misconduct from your employer, get in touch with the dependable Georgia whistleblower claim attorneys at The Law Offices of Wayne Grant, P.C. today. We will work hard to protect your rights and your future while you cooperate with the government to bring the perpetrator to justice. Do not forego doing what’s right and call us toll-free at (866) 249-5513 for a free, comprehensive consultation.