updated 1/24/2007 9:35:29 PM ET 2007-01-25T02:35:29

The former investor relations chief at Enron Corp. whose testimony helped bring down the company’s founder and chief executive entered federal prison Wednesday.

Mark Koenig began serving an 18-month sentence at the Three Rivers prison 75 miles south of San Antonio, the Houston Chronicle reported on its Web site. Koenig also was fined $50,000, which will be sent to a fund for victims of Enron’s collapse.

Koenig entered the Three Rivers facility about noon, prison spokesman Michael Ginster told the newspaper.

A federal Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman in Washington, D.C., told The Associated Press late Wednesday that she had no information on whether Koenig had reported to prison. The Bureau of Prisons’ Web site listed Koenig as “in transit.”

Koenig pleaded guilty in 2004 to one count of aiding and abetting securities fraud, which carries up to 10 years in prison.

At his November sentencing, prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein Jr. to take into account Koenig’s assistance, which resulted in the guilty pleas of other Enron executives and contributed to the successful prosecution of chairman Ken Lay and CEO Jeff Skilling.

Koenig, 51, was the government’s first witness in Lay and Skilling’s trial last year.

Koenig worked with both men, serving as the company’s main link to investors and analysts. He coordinated analyst presentations and oversaw the company’s earnings announcements.

Lay died in July and his conviction was erased because of his death. Skilling began serving his 24-year, four-month sentence in December.

Enron, once the nation’s seventh-largest company, crumbled into bankruptcy proceedings in December 2001 after years of accounting tricks could no longer hide billions in debt or make failing ventures appear profitable. The collapse wiped out thousands of jobs, more than $60 billion in market value and more than $2 billion in pension plans.

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