The “smartest guys in the room” weren’t smart enough to avoid conviction on securities and wire fraud conspiracy charges in one of the biggest business scandals in U.S. history. After six days of deliberation, the jury rejected Ken Lay’s and Jeff Skilling’s testimony as lies.
HOUSTON - 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.
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 banking.