Ex-Enron CFO moved to halfway house from prison

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Andrew Fastow, the former Enron Corp chief financial officer considered the mastermind behind the energy company's fraud, has been moved to a halfway house from a Louisiana prison.

According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons' website, Fastow is now in a community corrections facility in Houston, with a scheduled release date of December 17, 2011.

David Gerger, a lawyer for Fastow, did not immediately respond to requests for a comment.

Fastow, 49, began serving a six-year prison sentence in September 2006 after pleading guilty to two conspiracy charges for his role in helping Enron hide losses and debt and mislead investors.

Lawyers for Fastow had said their client would take a course on drug and alcohol abuse while in prison, which can reduce the length of incarceration.

Once ranked seventh on the Fortune 500 list of large U.S. companies, Enron went bankrupt on December 2, 2001. Its demise led to reforms including the federal Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

Fastow pleaded guilty in January 2004 and agreed to cooperate with the authorities in exchange for a 10-year prison sentence. The term was reduced after he testified against former Enron Chief Executives Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling.

A Houston federal jury in May 2006 found Lay and Skilling guilty of fraud and conspiracy.

Lay died in July 2006, and his death led to his conviction being thrown out. Skilling was sentenced to 24 years in prison but will be resentenced after a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision rejected one legal theory behind his conviction.

The case is U.S. v. Fastow, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, No. 02-cr-00665.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Additional reporting by Kristen Hays in Houston; editing by John Wallace)