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Ex-Enron Executive Says Documents Were Shredded at Headquarters

She claims to be in possession of shreds related to the company's partnerships.

A former



executive said documents were being shredded in the bankrupt energy trader's accounting department through the middle of January despite the initiation of a criminal probe by the Justice Department.

Maureen Castaneda, Enron's director of foreign exchange and sovereign risk management until she left the company this month, said the shredded documents appear to relate to the partnerships Enron used to shield its balance sheet from debt. Castaneda claims she is in possession of shreds of documents marked "confidential" and dated December 2001. She told

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she had planned to use the shredded paper for packing material.

An Enron lawyer said the company is "investigating the circumstances of the reported destruction of documents. In October 2001 the company issued several directives to all Enron employees worldwide that all relevant documents should be preserved in light of pending litigation."

The claim that documents were being shredded at Enron's Houston headquarters follows an admission earlier this month by the company's auditors, Arthur Andersen, that its employees had destroyed an undetermined number of documents related to the audit.

Enron filed for bankruptcy protection on Dec. 2.