updated 7/15/2005 7:25:10 AM ET 2005-07-15T11:25:10

A former Enron vice president has pleaded guilty to participating in a scheme to recognize earnings prematurely and improperly.

Christopher Calger, 39, of Westport, Conn., entered the guilty plea Thursday to a charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, the Justice Department said. He is the 16th person to plead guilty in the Enron investigation.

Calger has agreed to cooperate with the government and could be called to testify in the January trial of ex-Chairman Ken Lay, ex-CEO Jeff Skilling and Rick Causey, Enron's former chief accounting officer.

He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,00 fine. He will likely be sentenced when the government winds up all the Enron cases, the Houston Chronicle reported Thursday on its Web site.

A listed telephone number for Calger was not in service, and his attorney was unavailable for comment, the newspaper reported.

Calger negotiated the sale of Coyote Springs II, a project involving equity interest in a power plant, a construction contract to build the plant and a turbine for the plant, a government release said. He was a vice president overseeing the West Power Origination group of Enron North America at the time.

The alleged charade is connected to what the prosecutors call the "global galactic" agreement, a handwritten memo detailing deals made secretly between Causey and former Chief Financial Officer Andrew Fastow. The plan guaranteed Fastow-controlled LJM entities as much as $50 million from Enron in seven deals.

The Enron Task Force declined to comment.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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