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Tue, 27 Mar 2012 11:17:43 GMT | By Jason Buckland, MSN Money
Whistleblowers who brought down companies

Sherron Watkins



Sherron Watkins (© Ron Edmonds/file/AP Photo)
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Former employer: Enron

If you believe former Enron CEO Ken Lay, who died in 2006, and ex-president Jeff Skilling, who is serving a 24-year prison sentence in Colorado, no one at the fated energy giant knew of its pending collapse. Though, there was one voice at Enron that has emerged as a sort of hero in hindsight: Sherron Watkins (pictured), the company's former vice-president of corporate development. Smelling something afoul in Enron's books, Watkins wrote an internal email to Lay, warning him of misstatements in the corporation's financial statements. Watkins' warning to Lay therefore casts a bit of a shadow as to whether she is a traditional whistleblower, though that is the role she was nonetheless cast in when her memo reached daylight five months after it was written. Enron collapsed in the most spectacular of bankruptcies late in 2001, and Watkins, along with two other notable whistleblowers, was named one of Time magazine's "People of the Year" in 2002.

* Bing: Why did Enron collapse?

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