Wednesday’s decision makes Glisan the first Enron executive to go to jail. As part of a plea bargain, the former treasurer agreed to forfeit $938,000 to the government. He will also not seek a refund from the US Treasury of about $412,000 in income taxes.

Glisan will be under supervised discharge for an additional three years following his prison release.

The plea at a hearing in Houston, Texas came as federal prosecutors reportedly intensified their probe and decide whether to charge two former Enron chief executives Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling.

The plea agreement and jail term hammered out with Glisan “sends a strong message to other people”, said the government’s Enron task force chief Leslie Caldwell.

False company image

Enron employees packed up
after company filed bankruptcy

Glisan pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire and security fraud. He admitted that he and others “conspired to falsify Enron’s reported financial results, making the company appear more successful than it actually was,” said the Justice Department.

The ex-treasurer admitted having a role in a plot using an investment unit called LJM run by Fastow and an off-books entity called Talon to avoid reporting investment losses on its balance sheet.

Glisan said he and others at Enron deliberately structured Talon in a way that appeared to comply with, but actually violated, applicable accounting rules.

“Today’s plea further demonstrates the increasingly elaborate-and fraudulent-accounting games used by Enron to conceal what has now become apparent: Well before its ultimate collapse in 2001, Enron was a badly failing business,” said acting Assistant Attorney General Christopher Wray.

Enron, once the seventh-largest US company, collapsed after the disclosure of myriad accounting schemes that hid billions of dollars in debts in December 2001 in what was the largest US bankruptcy case ever at the time.