Andrew Fastow

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Andrew Stuart Fastow (born 22 December 1961) was the chief financial officer of Enron Corporation that was based in Houston, Texas until the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission opened an investigation into his and the company's conduct in 2001. Fastow was one of the key figures behind the complex web of off-balance-sheet special purpose entities (limited partnerships which Enron controlled) used to conceal their massive losses. Fastow is serving a six-year prison sentence for charges related to these unlawful acts.

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Early life and education

Fastow was born in Washington, D.C. He grew up in New Providence, New Jersey, the middle of three sons. His parents, Carl and Joan Fastow, worked in merchandising. Andy graduated from New Providence High School, where he took part in student government, played on the tennis team, and played in the school band.[1] He was the sole student representative on the New Jersey State Board of Education.[citation needed]

Fastow graduated from Tufts University in 1983 with B.A.s in economics and Chinese. While there, he met his future wife, Lea Weingarten, whom he married in 1984. Fastow and Weingarten both earned MBAs at Northwestern University and worked for Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust Company in Chicago.[citation needed]

Early career

While at Continental Illinois, Fastow worked on the newly emerging "asset-backed securities". The practice spread across the industry "because it provides an obvious advantage for a bank," noted the Chicago Tribune. "It moves assets off the bank's balance sheet while creating revenue." Continental became the largest U.S. bank to fail in American history until the seizure of Washington Mutual in 2008.[citation needed]

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