At the heart of last week's headline-grabbing controversy surrounding Enron Corp.'s plunging share prices and suspicious CFO replacement - instigated by a Securities and Exchange Commission probe into several questionable transactions - lies a batch of "highly structured" deals directly tied to Enron assets.

When speaking to the press, the embattled Houston-based energy company, which recently shrank its shareholder equity by $1.2 billion and took a $1 billion charge for the third quarter connected with the writedown of bad investments, has been alluding to "certain structured finance deals" that went sour and may unwind. The deals were undertaken by partnerships that had been controlled by Andrew S. Fastow, who was relieved of his position as CFO last week amid negative headlines and investor trepidation.

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