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by Dave Gradijan

Enron’s Ken Lay Is Dead

Jul 05, 20062 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

Enron founder Kenneth Lay, who was convicted of the fraud that led to the collapse of his company, died today in Colorado, reports. He was 64.

Lay’s spokesman, Kelly Kimberly, said in a statement that the Lays will not release any more information until the entire family has been contacted.

Lay’s defense lawyer, Mike Ramsey, said through a spokeswoman, “Mr. Lay did pass during the night from what appears to have been a heart attack in Aspen, Colorado.”

According to Bloomberg News, Lay and his successor as Enron’s chief executive officer, Jeffrey Skilling, 52, were convicted May 2 of spearheading the fraud that plunged the world’s largest energy trading company into bankruptcy in December 2001. Lay and Skilling were scheduled to be sentenced in October. Lay, who was also convicted of bank fraud, was facing as many as 25 years in federal prison.

The article states that Enron’s implosion from accounting fraud wiped out more than 5,000 jobs and $1 billion in employee pensions virtually overnight. Shareholders claimed more than $25 billion in losses as a result of the crime. Lay and Skilling were convicted of lying to investors about Enron’s debt and losses, much of which was hidden in off-the-books partnerships.

Bloomberg News reports Lay made hundreds of millions of dollars at Enron in salary and stock profits. At his trial, he said he was broke because of the drop in Enron stock value and the cost of his legal defense.

Compiled by Paul Kerstein

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