Thursday, May 25, 2006
Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling Found Guilty in Enron Trial!
This story is too hot to ignore, even with my lousy connection. By now you've probably heard that Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling were found guilty today in the Enron trial. Good times! Yahoo News AP wire excerpt:
HOUSTON - Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling were convicted of conspiracy and fraud Thursday by a federal jury that laid blame for one of the biggest business scandals in U.S. history squarely on Enron Corp.'s two former top executives.
Jurors found that the men, who received tens of millions in pay and stock options, repeatedly lied to cover up accounting tricks and business failures that led to the company's 2001 demise. The collapse wiped out more than $60 billion in market value, almost $2.1 billion in pension plans and 5,600 jobs.
The verdict came in the sixth day of deliberations following a criminal trial that lasted nearly four months. Lay was also convicted of bank fraud and making false statements to banks in a separate, non-jury trial before U.S. District Judge Sim Lake related to Lay's personal finances.
Lay was convicted on all six counts of conspiracy, securities and wire fraud against him in the corporate trial and all four in the personal banking trial. Former Chief Executive Skilling was convicted on 19 of the 28 counts in the corporate trial, including one count of insider trading, and acquitted on the remaining nine.
Lake set sentencing for Sept. 11. The charges against Lay, who is 64, carry a maximum penalty in prison of 45 years for the corporate trial and 120 years in the personal banking trial. The charges against Skilling, 52, carry a maximum penalty of 185 years in prison.
The sentencing will come five years almost to the day after Skilling sold 500,000 shares of Enron stock for $15.5 million, for which he was convicted of insider trading.
Wow! Theoretically, Lay is looking at 165 years and Skilling is looking at 185! Sort of makes one wish that humans had lifespans of 250 years, doesn't it? Maybe now the date 9/11 will come to have a different meaning -- one that signified that justice was done in bringing these rotten sons of bitches to their knees for the crimes they committed.