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Company Enron [Company Info]
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Date Issue Title
24th Apr 2006 Fraud Investigation Lay 'devastated' by Enron failure

Report
Enron's collapse caused more "enduring pain" than the death of a loved one, the energy giant's founder Kenneth Lay has told a US court.

Mr Lay made the claims as he began his defence against charges of fraud and conspiracy over Enron's collapse.

He also laid the blame for the energy firm's failure firmly at the feet of former finance chief Andrew Fastow.

Mr Lay is facing six charges of conspiracy, and wire and securities fraud. He denies the charges.

During his first day on the witness stand at the Houston court Mr Lay proclaimed his innocence saying he had been devastated by Enron's collapse.

"I'm sure there's absolutely nothing in my life, including the loss of life of many of my loved ones, that even comes close to the same level of pain, and the same enduring pain, that has caused," he said.

"I guess you could say in the last few years I've achieved the American nightmare," he added.

Prosecutors say Mr Lay knew the company faced huge problems with fraudulent accounting, overvalued assets and struggling business ventures in the months before the crash.

The 64-year-old headed Enron for 15 years from its inception until 2001, when he turned over the chief executive's job to Jeffrey Skilling.

After Mr Skilling resigned six months into his job, Mr Lay took over at the helm once more, and prosecutors allege he then took charge of a conspiracy to lie about the energy company's financial health.

But Mr Lay dubbed the claims "ludicrous", saying: "The last thing I would do is step back in as CEO and take over as the leader of a conspiracy."

Instead he repeated defence claims that Enron was brought down by a lack of market confidence in the firm triggered by revelations that chief financial officer Andrew Fastow had stolen millions from the company.

He added that Mr Fastow had done a "tremendously brilliant" job of hiding his crimes from the energy giant's executives.

Mr Fastow - one of the prosecution's star witnesses - has claimed that Mr Lay and Mr Skilling lied to the US stock market, company workers and the public about the state of Enron.

Other Reports on Enron
Date Issue Company Report
26th Sep 2006 Fraud Investigation Enron Fastow gets six-year term
13th Aug 2006 Fraud Investigation Enron Prosecutors raise Enron boss fine
25th May 2006 Fraud Investigation Enron Lay and Skilling guilty
15th May 2006 Fraud Investigation Enron Enron bosses 'stole to pump egos'
11th May 2006 Fraud Investigation Enron Judge deals blow to Enron accused
26th Apr 2006 Fraud Investigation Enron Enron feared witch hunt, Lay says
18th Apr 2006 Fraud Investigation Enron Skilling defends Enron share sale
13th Apr 2006 Fraud Investigation Enron Skilling slams Enron prosecutors
12th Apr 2006 Fraud Investigation Enron Enron 'held no cookie jar fund'
11th Apr 2006 Questionable Practice Enron Skilling denies cover-up at Enron
10th Apr 2006 Fraud Investigation Enron I'm innocent says ex-Enron chief
3rd Apr 2006 Fraud Investigation Enron Key Enron witness 'lied in court'
22nd Mar 2006 Fraud Investigation Enron Enron treasurer tells of 'lies'
16th Mar 2006 Fraud Investigation Enron Enron whistleblower condemns Lay
14th Mar 2006 Fraud Investigation Enron Key Enron witness 'duped bosses'
9th Mar 2006 Fraud Investigation Enron Lay 'lied about Enron finances'
7th Mar 2006 Fraud Investigation Enron Enron bosses hid massive losses
1st Mar 2006 Fraud Investigation Enron Enron 'pretty fast and loose with its rules'
27th Feb 2006 Fraud Investigation Enron Enron money man 'raided reserves'
13th May 2005 Fraud Investigation Enron Former Enron executive sentenced
9th Jan 2005 Fraud Investigation Enron Enron bosses agree $168m payout
3rd Nov 2004 Fraud Investigation Enron Convictions in Enron fraud trial
28th Jun 2004 Other Issue Enron Enron ex-boss breaks his silence

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