Originally created 05/06/04

Former Dynegy executive to begin serving 24-year sentence May 20

HOUSTON -- A former Dynegy Inc. executive's 24-year prison sentence for his involvement in an accounting fraud will begin later this month.

U.S. District Judge Sim Lake late Tuesday ordered Jamie Olis, 38, to surrender May 20 at a minimum-security federal prison for men in Bastrop just southeast of Austin. Olis was sentenced March 25.

Lake denied Olis' request last month to remain free on bond pending the appeal of his November conviction of three counts of wire fraud and one count each of securities fraud, conspiracy and mail fraud.

Olis has an eight-month-old daughter and his wife is pregnant with their second child.

Olis was one of three former midlevel Dynegy executives charged in June last year with helping advance a scheme to wrongly book a loan as cash flow and improperly cut taxes in 2001.

Olis' former boss, Gene Shannon Foster, and former in-house accountant Helen Christine Sharkey pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy. Both agreed to cooperate with prosecutors and face no more than five years in prison.

Foster testified against Olis during his trial, but Sharkey was never called to testify. Both are scheduled to be sentenced in August.

During his testimony, Foster said he, Sharkey and Olis were among seven Dynegy employees and two outside attorneys who crafted the deal, dubbed Project Alpha, to artificially meet Wall Street expectations and reduce taxes in April 2001.

None of those Foster named, including former Dynegy finance chief Rob Doty, have been charged. Doty resigned from Dynegy in June 2002.

Olis' sentence surpassed 20 years because he was held responsible for more than $100 million in stock losses under federal sentencing guidelines revised as of November 2001.

Lake relied on unrefuted trial testimony that the University of California lost $105 million in investments after the deal came to light in April 2002. Last month the judge rejected an argument from Olis' appeal attorney, David Gerger, that the calculation of loss tied to his crimes appeared to include stock declines before Project Alpha became public knowledge.


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