SEC files against former Merrill Lynch execs

HOUSTON -- Four former Merrill Lynch executives helped Enron Corp. manipulate its earnings in 1999, according to a civil complaint filed in Houston on Monday by federal regulators.

The Securities and Exchange Commission claims the four helped Enron add $60 million to its 1999 earnings through illegal transactions.

Charged with civil fraud were Schuyler Tilney, the former head of Merrill's Houston office, Tom Davis, former vice president of private equity and research, Robert Furst, former managing director; and Dan Bayly, chairman of investment banking.

All four are alleged to have taken part in a deal involving the sale of three electricity-generating barges anchored off the coast of Nigeria, while only Tilney and Davis are charged in connection with a complex series of commodity sales that were said to be disguised as loans to Enron.

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