Ex-Enron Employees Rejoice While the Guilty Vow to Appeal

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Guilty Former employees of Enron were thankful and encouraged upon hearing that Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling were found guilty of felony charges of conspiracy and fraud. While nothing will give back all that they lost, the idea that “justice prevails” has encouraged the former employees.

Both defendants proclaimed their innocence and vowed to appeal the jury’s verdict. After surrendering his passport and paying a $5 million bod, Lay said:

I firmly believe I’m innocent of the charges against me as I have said from day one.

Lay and Skilling found guilty of fraud and conspiracy charges

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Kenneth LayKenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling, both former heads of Enron Corp., were found guilty by a jury on Thursday of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and wire fraud. The trial lasted almost four months, and the jury deliberated for nearly six days.

Skilling was convicted of 19 of the 28 counts he was charged with, and Lay was convicted on all six counts against him. Lay was also convicted of two federal charges brought against him by the Federal government in a separate trial.

The collapse of Enron, one of the biggest business scandals in U.S. history, became synonymous with the word fraud.

Closing Arguments in the Enron Trial

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Kathryn Ruemmler, one of the federal prosecutors active in the trial of former Enron executives Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling, told the jury in closing arguments that the defendants lied “over and over and over again” to investors and employees. She said that they used accounting fraud, misleading statements and outright lies to help keep Enron’s stock price up.

Lay and Skilling counter that no fraud occurred at Enron other than executives skimming millions through secret side deals. Continue reading