Enron Executives Found Guilty

ByABC News
May 25, 2006, 11:20 AM

May 25, 2006 — -- Former Enron executives Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling have been found guilty of fraud and conspiracy.

Lay, 64, was convicted on all six counts against him, including conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud.

Skilling, 52, was also convicted of conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud.

Jurors spent six days deliberating after more than three months of testimony from 54 witnesses in the fraud and conspiracy trial.

In a separate, non-jury bank fraud trial related to Lay's personal banking, U.S. District Judge Sim Lake has found Enron founder guilty of bank fraud and making false statements to banks. Lake had withheld his verdict in the Lay bank fraud case until the Lay-Skilling jury announced its verdict.

Lay founded Enron in 1985 and was its CEO for more than 15 years. Skilling joined the company in 1990, became its CEO in February 2001, and resigned abruptly in August 2001, citing family reasons.

They were both credited with building Enron into a powerhouse, which was hailed for its creative management, but their names became associated with the wave of corporate scandals that followed Enron's demise.

Before its fall in December 2001, Enron grew to be a major energy trading company with assets at one point estimated at $100 billion.

Its stock, which in early 1998 traded at approximately $30 per share, had risen to more than $80 per share. Enron was ranked the seventh-largest company in the United States by the leading index of the Fortune 500.