Thursday, May 25, 2006

"We stole."

"We stole. We all benefited financially at the expense of others."
Andrew Fastow, former Chief Financial Officer, Enron Corporation
Here are the details of the Lay/Skilling/Enron trial verdicts. It didn't go well for either one. Remember that Lay went through a second, judge only, trial for bank fraud during the jury deliberations in the conspiracy and fraud trial. The judge witheld his verdict on the bank fraud charges until after the Lay/Skilling trial verdicts.

Jeffrey Skilling was convicted on 19 of 28 conspiracy and fraud charges. He will appeal. He was found innocent on 9 other charges. Presumably he will not appeal those 9 innocent verdicts.

Kenneth Lay was convicted on all 6 counts of conspiracy and fraud. Then, to make Lay's bad day worse, the judge in the separate bank fraud case released his verdict: guilty on all 4 counts of bank fraud.

The judge set sentencing for September 11, an intersting choice of dates, don't you think? 9/11 will take on a whole new meaning to Messrs. Lay and Skilling. The judge set bail for Lay at $5,000,000 and directed him to hand over his passport before leaving the federal courthouse in Houston.

Skilling's lawyer immediately announced an appeal, paraphrasing Capt. John Paul Jones with, "As I told (Skilling), we've just begun the fight." Skilling was available for comments after the verdicts were read but Lay made himself scarce. I would imagine that Lay will also appeal. Why not? At his age, his prison term will almost assure that he will die behind bars.

It will be interesting to see how the judge metes out financial penalties. If he were to strip both Lay and Skilling of every cent they have to their names as well as all property and any and all other assets, it wouldn't account for a drop in the bucket of the financial losses they helped cause. I guess we wait for Lay's and Skilling's personal 9/11 to find out.

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