Lay sold as Enron burned, feds say

first_img160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventHowever, Lay did tell workers less than three months before Enron filed for bankruptcy protection that he had bought stock when, in fact, he had sold more shares than he bought. In a methodical yet blistering cross-examination, prosecutor John Hueston highlighted Lay’s complicated stock activity throughout 2001 to challenge the ex-chairman’s credibility in portraying himself as a loyal company man who put Enron first. Lay’s demeanor was markedly more subdued than when Hueston first challenged him late Wednesday. At that time, Lay’s trademark public amiability disappeared as he raised his voice, scowled and snarled repeatedly at the prosecutor who secured an indictment against him in July 2004. On Thursday, Lay often appeared to treat Hueston like an irritant, but answered inquiries in a matter-of-fact tone. Lay faces six counts of fraud and conspiracy related to the months before the company’s collapse, when he took back the role of CEO following Skilling’s resignation in mid-August 2001. HOUSTON – Federal prosecutors sought Thursday to torpedo Enron Corp. founder Kenneth Lay’s image as a company champion, trying to show he used the ailing energy giant to bail himself out of personal financial woes in 2001. Lay obtained more than $70 million in loans from Enron throughout 2001 and repaid most with company stock, even as he encouraged employees to buy more shares. Lay didn’t disclose those stock sales publicly because regulations required that sales of shares back to a company be reported only in the year after they occur. Unlike his co-defendant in his fraud and conspiracy trial, former Enron Chief Executive Jeffrey Skilling, Lay isn’t charged with improper stock sales. last_img read more

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