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Thread: Ken Lay, the CEO of Enron, was facing decades in jail. dies 1 day befor sentence

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    Black Wallstreet Distrbtr PDP's Avatar
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    Default Ken Lay, the CEO of Enron, was facing decades in jail. dies 1 day befor sentence

    Enron founder Ken Lay dies
    64-year-old former energy executive was awaiting sentencing for fraud.
    By Shaheen Pasha, CNNMoney.com staff writer
    July 5 2006: 12:21 PM EDT


    NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Enron founder Kenneth Lay died early Wednesday in Aspen, Colo., a family spokeswoman said.

    Lay, 64, was awaiting sentencing after being found guilty of conspiracy and fraud in the Enron trial in May.



    Video More video


    Ken Lay made some brief comments after receiving a guilty verdict. (May 25)
    Play video



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    KPRC's Lauren Freeman looks at the rise and fall of Ken Lay, who led Enron's spectacular implosion. (July 5)
    Play video




    In a statement, spokeswoman Kelly Kimberly said, "The Lays have a very large family with whom they need to communicate, and out of respect for the family we will release further details at a later time."

    A spokeswoman for Aspen Valley Hospital confirmed that Lay arrived at the hospital at 1:41 a.m. MT and was pronounced dead at 3:11 a.m. MT.

    CNN affiliate KPRC in Houston said Lay was admitted to the hospital with a massive coronary.

    In a statement, the Pitkin County Sheriff's office said a coroner's autopsy is pending and autopsy results will be available later this week.

    (Watch what penalties Lay would have faced -- 1:54)

    On May 25, Lay was found guilty of 10 counts of fraud and conspiracy related to the collapse of Enron, the energy company he founded that eventually grew into the nation's seventh largest company before it imploded after an accounting scandal.

    It was an astounding fall from grace for the Houston businessman who was once nicknamed "Kenny Boy" by President Bush. Lay had raised funds for Bush earlier in his political career.

    In the Enron trial, Lay was accused of lying to investors and Wall Street about the health of Enron in late 2001 even as he enriched himself by selling millions of dollars in stock.

    But Lay maintained his innocence to the end.

    In a May 25 interview, Lay's lead attorney, Michael Ramsey, who was forced to take a backseat midway through the trial after he underwent vascular surgery, said that "Enron was his creation, he nursed it like a child, and the death of Enron was like the death of a child to him."

    "He lost a fortune, his family lost a fortune, he can certainly feel the pain of the people that lost money in it, he will feel that till the day he dies," Ramsey said.

    Lay was scheduled for sentencing on Oct. 23 along with Enron's former chief executive Jeffrey Skilling, who was found guilty of 19 counts of conspiracy, fraud, making false statements and insider trading.

    Both men faced 25 to 40 years behind bars, legal experts said.

    Presiding Judge Sim Lake originally scheduled sentencing for Sept. 11.

    While it's still unclear whether Lay's sudden death will have any impact on Skilling's sentencing, legal experts said it was unlikely that Judge Lake would grant another postponement.

    But Lay's family may still face the music when it comes to the barrage of civil lawsuits filed against him.

    Jacob Zamansky, principle at Zamansky & Associates, a law firm that represents shareholders, said Lay's estate is still liable for damages.

    "Lay's passing isn't going to have any material effect on the civil suits," Zamansky said. "His testimony is still out there."

    Legal observers were surprised at Lay's demeanor during his testimony as the former executive known for his congenial persona, appeared brash, abrasive and unwilling to accept any responsibility for Enron's demise. After the guilty verdict was issued, jurors said his performance on the stand worked against him.

    Having taken the stand in his own defense - a decision that many legal experts questioned - Lay's words could work against him in civil litigation.

    Still, how much of the pot will be available to claimants is uncertain. Lay testified that he had lost millions after Enron's collapse and most of his estate was depleted in order to pay legal costs and living expenses.

    Enron filed for bankruptcy in December 2001 after investigators found it had used partnerships to conceal more than $1 billion in debt and inflate profits. Enron's downfall cost 4,000 employees their jobs and many of them their life savings, and led to billions of dollars of losses for investors.

    The collapse was the first of the high-profile corporate scandals that later rocked WorldCom, Global Crossing, Adelphia and Tyco.

    The wave of fraud led to the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation meant to tighten oversight of how American companies were audited.

    Lay, the son of a baptist preacher in Missouri, worked his way up to become a corporate titan. He earned his Bachelor's and Master's degrees at the University of Missouri and went on to earn a Ph.D. in economics at the University of Houston. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1968 to 1971, during which he received the Navy Commendation Medal and National Defense Service Medal.

    He is survived by his wife Linda Phillips Lay, five children and twelve grandchildren.

    -- CNNMoney.com's Grace Wong contributed to this story.
    Last edited by presumed_dead1983; 06-07-2006 at 3:47 PM. Reason: better title


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  2. #2
    x marks the spot EXODUS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Ken Lay, the CEO of Enron, was facing decades in jail. dies 1 day befor sentence

    Enron filed for bankruptcy in December 2001 after investigators found it had used partnerships to conceal more than $1 billion in debt
    the dead guy claimed bankruptcy too... they were saying on the news that this guy 'spent' all the money because they had 6 investigators and none of them could find anything.. i bet he payed to fake his death, skipped out on prison life, got some plastic surgery and is swimming in the rest of his money like scrooge mcduck

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