LONDON — A British banker who was questioned by U.S. authorities in connection with the Enron scandal has been found dead, British media said Wednesday.
The man’s body was found Tuesday in a park in east London, but police declined to identify him. The Royal Bank of Scotland, however, sent condolences to the family of Neil Coulbeck, one of the bank’s senior employees who had been questioned by the FBI in the case of three British bankers facing Enron-related fraud charges. The British Broadcasting Corp. and other media outlets also identified the man as Coulbeck, 53.
Police would not immediately say how he died, but homicide officers were investigating — standard procedure on all suspicious deaths.
The FBI said it would not comment on any aspect of the case. A formal identification was expected Thursday, police said.
David Bermingham, Gary Mulgrew and Giles Darby — all former bankers with National Westminster Bank, which is owned by Royal Bank of Scotland — are expected to be extradited Thursday to the United States to face charges of defrauding their ex-employer of $7.3 million.
The three men have denied charges that they attempted to sell a part of the U.S.-based energy company Enron Corp. for less than it was worth. Enron filed for bankruptcy protection in December 2001.
Bermingham — one of the “NatWest Three” — said Coulbeck was among several bank executives who had given statements to U.S. authorities in connection with their case.
He said Coulbeck had been “a thoroughly decent, honest, professional guy and a very experienced banker.”
“He was one of a number of NatWest people who made short witness statements. They were not statements as to matters of evidence, they were merely identifying themselves and their roles in the company.”
The Royal Bank of Scotland said there was “no evidence” that Coulbeck had been involved in the transaction under investigation.
“There is no evidence that Neil was involved in the approval of the transaction under investigation,” bank spokeswoman Linda Harper said. “Neil was highly regarded by his colleagues here in RBS and was a respected, capable and hardworking member of our senior management team. Our thoughts are with the Coulbeck family at this very difficult time.”
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