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.This of course comes as no surprise to anyone including Lay and Skilling. These two men had become the personification of corporate evil. Their defense was lame and a no sale from the beginning but while it was lame it was the only one they had.
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 trial that lasted nearly four months.
Lay was also convicted of bank fraud and making false statements to banks in a separate trial non-jury trial before U.S. District Judge Sim Lake related to Lay’s personal banking.
I still think a better punishment for Lay would be to make him live out the rest of his life on Social Security and Medicare.
Before we get too excited we should recognize that they will never spend a day in prison. The verdicts will be appealed and that process will take over two years. Even if the appeal fails it is safe to assume the George W. Bush will pardon them both on his last day in office.