Thursday, May 25, 2006

Lay, Skilling convicted in Enron collapse on Yahoo! News

Justice has been served. It certainly doesn't bring back the lost pensions or jobs but it is a measure of closure. plk

Lay, Skilling convicted in Enron collapse on Yahoo! News
By KRISTEN HAYS, AP Business Writer
Former Enron Corp. chiefs Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling were convicted Thursday of conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud in one of the biggest business scandals in U.S. history.

The verdict put the blame for the 2001 demise of the high-profile energy trader, once the nation's seventh-largest company, squarely on its top two executives.

It came in the sixth day of deliberations following a federal criminal trial that lasted nearly four months.

The conviction was a major win for the government, serving almost as a bookend to an era that has seen prosecutors win convictions against executives from WorldCom Inc. to Adelphia Communications Corp. and homemaking maven Martha Stewart.

The charges for which Lay was convicted carry a maximum penalty in prison of 45 years in the corporate trial and 120 years in the personal banking trial.

The charges for which Skilling was convicted carry a maximum penalty of 185 years in prison.

Jurors found through their verdict that both men had repeatedly lied to cover a vast web of unsustainable accounting tricks and failing ventures at Enron.

The government's victory caps a 4 1/2 year investigation that garnered 16 guilty pleas from ex-Enron executives, including former Chief Financial Officer Andrew Fastow and former Chief Accounting Officer Richard Causey.

Summarized by Copernic Summarizer

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