25 May 2006


New York Times:

HOUSTON, May 25 — Kenneth L. Lay and Jeffrey
K. Skilling, the chief executives who guided
Enron through its spectacular rise and even more
stunning fall, were found guilty today of fraud
and conspiracy in a case that led the parade of
corporate scandals in recent years that emerged
from the get-rich-quick stock market excesses of
the 1990's.

The eight women and four men on the jury
reached the verdicts after more than six days of
deliberations. Mr. Skilling was convicted of 18
counts of fraud and conspiracy and one count of
insider trading. He was acquitted on nine counts
of insider trading. Mr. Lay was found guilty on
six counts of fraud and conspiracy and four
counts of bank fraud.

The conspiracy and fraud convictions each carry
a sentence of 5 to 10 years in prison. The insider
trading charge against Mr. Skilling carries a
maximum of 10 years.

"Obviously, I'm disappointed," Mr. Skilling said
as he left the courthouse, "but that's the way the
system works."

For a company that once seemed so complex
that almost no one could understand its arcane
accounting or how it actually made its money,
the cases ended up being nearly as simple as
could be. Mr. Lay and Mr. Skilling were found
guilty of lying — lying to investors, to employees
and to government regulators — in an effort to
disguise the crumbling fortunes of their energy

In a brief appearance after the verdicts were
announced, Paul McNulty, a deputy attorney
general, appeared emboldened by the jury's
decision. "No one, even heads of Fortune 500
companies, is above the law," he said in a
televised statement. "We will continue to pursue
relentlessly this type of corruption."

Associated Press:

[U.S. District Judge Sim] Lake ordered Lay to
stay in the courthouse until his passport was
surrendered and until the conclusion of a 2 p.m.
CDT bond hearing.

Lake told jurors, "you have reflected on this
evidence for the last few days and reached a
very thorough verdict, and I thank you."

He set sentencing for Sept. 11. 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.