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Oh my god! They convicted Kenny!
May 25, 2006 9:14 AM   Subscribe

Ken Lay guilty on all counts. A jury has found Enron founder Ken Lay guilty on all six counts against him of fraud and conspiracy, with a combined possible penalty of 45 years in prison. Enron CEO Jeff Skilling was found guilty on 19 of 28 counts for conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud.
posted by XQUZYPHYR (96 comments total)

 
That's guilty, guilty, guilty!
posted by hackly_fracture at 9:16 AM on May 25, 2006


Good
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posted by efalk at 9:17 AM on May 25, 2006


OK where's the money ?
posted by elpapacito at 9:19 AM on May 25, 2006


well, we can be sure Bush will pardon him when he leaves office. but at least he'll spend a couple of months in jail. that's already more than i expected.
posted by analogue at 9:20 AM on May 25, 2006


Burn in hell Kenny-boy.

Not surprising if you followed the case. The prosecuting attorneys seemed way more on the ball than the defense, especially in Lay's case. Lay's primary attorney who had done all the preliminary work and came up with the defense strategy even wasn't able to defend once the trial started. On several occasions, Lay, on the stand, excoriated his own attorney. He came across as an obnoxious prick.
posted by vito90 at 9:20 AM on May 25, 2006


I was working in downtown Houston the day the Enron office closed. Man, that was a sad sight, so:

*happy dance*
posted by Cyrano at 9:21 AM on May 25, 2006


Bush 5/26/2006: "Ken who?"

Bush 1/19/2009 "...so I'm going to pardon my good friend Ken Lay..."
posted by bashos_frog at 9:21 AM on May 25, 2006


Nice.
posted by dead_ at 9:22 AM on May 25, 2006


well, we can be sure Bush will pardon him when he leaves office. but at least he'll spend a couple of months in jail.

I would think the overwhelming verdit against him would be additional fodder for a massive civil suit against him by the several thousand people he screwed over. Ultimately, the greatest insult to me out of all of this isn't if he even goes to jail or not but if he actually ends up after all this still a millionaire.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:22 AM on May 25, 2006


OK where's the money ?

One hopes that the legal system will forcefully help Mr. Lay divest himself of his stolen gains. His government-sanctioned thievery stole millions of dollars from Californians, not to mention pentioners. Some financial reimbursement is in order.
posted by Mr. Six at 9:24 AM on May 25, 2006


thank you, drive thru!
posted by Mach5 at 9:24 AM on May 25, 2006


Houston Chronicle story.
posted by airguitar at 9:25 AM on May 25, 2006


It's ok though because he's going to a special jail for special people.
posted by I Foody at 9:25 AM on May 25, 2006


huzzah!
posted by DragonBoy at 9:26 AM on May 25, 2006


[this is good]
posted by brevator at 9:27 AM on May 25, 2006




I would think the overwhelming verdit against him would be additional fodder for a massive civil suit against him by the several thousand people he screwed over. Ultimately, the greatest insult to me out of all of this isn't if he even goes to jail or not but if he actually ends up after all this still a millionaire.

Considering three of the company's banks just settled for $6.6 billion, it seems pretty clear that Lay and Skilling are going to lose their shirts in addition to their freedom.
posted by brain_drain at 9:29 AM on May 25, 2006


Skilling surprised many by keeping his cool despite pointed questioning that sometimes turned embarrassing and personal, such as his $180,000 stake in an ex-girlfriend's Internet startup company called Photofete that did business with Enron.
posted by airguitar at 9:29 AM on May 25, 2006


Not being a lawyer, nor American, I have a question: can this still go through the appeals process, or is this the end of the line?
posted by C.Batt at 9:30 AM on May 25, 2006


Yes. Everything is open to appeal.
posted by crunchland at 9:35 AM on May 25, 2006


C.Batt, yes, it can and will be appealed. But jury verdicts are rarely overturned.
posted by pardonyou? at 9:35 AM on May 25, 2006


I thought Lay was innocent (but guilty of running a company like a schmuck). Skilling, definitely guilty.
posted by b_thinky at 9:39 AM on May 25, 2006


I wonder if Bush really will pardon Kenny-boy. Seems like Ken Lay has outlived his usefulness to the Republican Party. But maybe Lay was smart enough to keep some unshredded documents relating to Cheney's secret energy task force in a safe deposit box somewhere... nah, Kenny-Boy's just not that bright.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 9:41 AM on May 25, 2006


So when does sentencing happen? That fucker is out on bail 'till then, right. He seems like the kind of slimy fuck to skip bail.

I am going to reserve my glee until I see that fuck hop his way into a Federal Pen. Even then I bet he is out in less than five years.
posted by tkchrist at 9:42 AM on May 25, 2006


Seems like Ken Lay has outlived his usefulness to the Republican Party.

Ahh. It was both parties. However that is a good point. He must of failed Cronyism 101 obviously and didn't keep a list of names and documented evidence of who his "friends" were.
posted by tkchrist at 9:44 AM on May 25, 2006


Ultimately, the greatest insult to me out of all of this isn't if he even goes to jail or not but if he actually ends up after all this still a millionaire.

You know this happened in the United States, right?
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:44 AM on May 25, 2006


He'll end up a MULTI-millionaire, and retire to Dubai, playground for the cream of the world's motherfucking scumbags.
posted by slatternus at 9:49 AM on May 25, 2006


He can get a house on one of those sweet palm tree shaped islands.
posted by dead_ at 9:51 AM on May 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


Lay should ask Marc Rich how one goes about getting a pardon.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:52 AM on May 25, 2006


Ken Lay was once considered for the postion of Secretary of Energy when the Bush administration first took office.
posted by dglynn at 9:52 AM on May 25, 2006


Good.
posted by OmieWise at 9:52 AM on May 25, 2006


I find it strange, irrespective of the delivery of the sentence and appeals process, that with a conviction for crimes that will definitely(?) bring jail time, they aren't both held in custody now. I thought that was the normal thang.
posted by peacay at 9:56 AM on May 25, 2006


Damn it! I was waiting to watch this on the CBS Evening News!
posted by mischief at 9:58 AM on May 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


Yeah, like he'll see the inside of a prison. That's totally likely.
posted by Artw at 9:59 AM on May 25, 2006


< tasteless prison rape joke>

"They gonna give new meaning to your name where you goin', boy..."


< /tasteless prison rape joke>
posted by stenseng at 10:01 AM on May 25, 2006


Where's Ryvar with the .50 cal when you really need him?
posted by longbaugh at 10:02 AM on May 25, 2006


tkchrist, Ken Lay and Enron gave much, much more support to the Republican party than to the Democrats.

From here:

Ken Lay gave $ 275,000 to non-presidential candidates in the 1999-2000 election cycle. ***97% of Lay's individual donations were sent to Republican campaigns***. Lay gave $ 25,000 to a "Re-Elect John Ashcroft to Senate" soft money fund. He gave more than $ 200,000 to the Republican National Committee.

Mr. Lay donated $ 883,000 to political candidates between 1989 and 2001. ***90% of these funds were sent to Republicans***.

Mr. Lay was the chair of the $ raising effort for the 1992 Republican Convention in Houston. Enron gave $250,000 to that event. Enron gave $ 500,000 to the 1996 Republican Convention in San Diego, and $ 250,000 to the 2000 Republican Convention in Philadelphia.

Mr. Lay gave $ 100,000 to "Bush for Governor" campaigns. Mr. Lay gave $100,000 to the "Bush/Cheney Inaugural Fund". Mr. Lay donated $ 10,000 to the "Bush/Cheney Recount Fund". Mr. Lay was a "Pioneer" for the "Bush for President" campaign. He raised $ 100,000 for George Bush (the current President) in 2000.

Enron has given $ 248,000 to presidential campaigns since 1992. $ 223,000 went to Republican presidential candidates. Dole got 90% of Enron presidential campaign donations in 1996. Bush got 89% of Enron presidential donations in 2000. Ken Lay made NO individual donations to Democratic presidential candidates in 1996 or 2000.


Oh, and sentencing is scheduled for 9/11.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 10:02 AM on May 25, 2006


Remember when Bush was first elected and snickered that the first thing he was going to do was hose down the Oval Office? He forgot to mention that he was going to hose it down with the blood of America's youth and the oil of crony capitalism.

Biggest industry donators to 2000 Bush campaign:
Enron $1.8m
Exxon $1.2m
Koch Industries $970,000
Southern $900,000
BP Amoco $800,000
El Paso Energy $787,000
Chevron Oil Corp $780,000

Ken Lay PERSONALLY donated $250,000 in soft money, and was a Bush "Pioneer" who tapped individuals for over $100,000 in direct donations of $1,000 or less.
posted by planetkyoto at 10:09 AM on May 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


This does little structurally to inhibit the rampant corporate malfeasance that defines American capitalism, not to mention the fact that cases like this are exceptions to the fact that businesses pretty much pay for the laws they like, and selectively ignore the ones they don't, but damn, it feels good to see these fucks get convicted. Have fun in Club Fed, Kenny-boy.

(And nice title, btw.)
posted by bardic at 10:13 AM on May 25, 2006


pecay, I'm pretty sure it's normal procedure to continue bail if there is going to be an appeal, but I'm not sure. Since until appeals are resolved, it's not clear that they will be serving jail time.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:13 AM on May 25, 2006


And Bush voters found guilty of conspiracy. Each and every one of you get to wear this shit stain. This is your team, Kenny was your boy. Try to spin it, assholes.
posted by 2sheets at 10:15 AM on May 25, 2006


oh, and obligatory:


"Bastards!!!"
posted by stenseng at 10:16 AM on May 25, 2006


Ken Lay PERSONALLY donated $250,000 in soft money, and was a Bush "Pioneer" who tapped individuals for over $100,000 in direct donations of $1,000 or less.
posted by planetkyoto at 10:09 AM PST on May 25 [+fave] [!]


Let's see how much he donates to Republicans in '07/'08 and/or Laura's senate run on '08. Then if Bush pardoned him, it would only be history repeating itself. Or maybe he could bribe the president's brother-in-law for a pardon. Oh, wrong president...
posted by b_thinky at 10:19 AM on May 25, 2006


b_thinky loves and idolizes Bill Clinton so much that he believes that anything Clinton did must be okay for anyone else to do, also.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:25 AM on May 25, 2006


His pardon in 2008 will be the first Bush signs.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 10:25 AM on May 25, 2006


Here is a nice run-down of each charge. Whole lotta guilty in there...
posted by Banky_Edwards at 10:26 AM on May 25, 2006


b_thinky, you have finally convinced me and the rest of mefi that, indeed, two wrongs make a right. Thank you, on behalf of all of us.
posted by bardic at 10:32 AM on May 25, 2006


If you're going to go digging, how about Bush I's unexplained pardon of a pakistani heroin trafficker? To say nothing of all the Iran/Contra scumbags.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:32 AM on May 25, 2006




Do they still do that "And you shall hang by the neck, until you are dead, DEAD, DEAD" part?
posted by slatternus at 10:36 AM on May 25, 2006


This justice system, it works?
posted by slater at 10:44 AM on May 25, 2006


"No. No. Y'know what I think? I think we're screwed. There's evidence all over that building to link it to us. Even if we could launder money, I wouldn't want to. If we're caught while laundering money, we're not going to go to white-collar-resort-prison. No, no, no. We're
gonna go to federal-reserve-pound-me-in-the-ass-prison."
posted by mattbucher at 10:46 AM on May 25, 2006


!
posted by dilettante at 10:49 AM on May 25, 2006




tkchrist, Ken Lay and Enron gave much, much more support to the Republican party than to the Democrats.

I stand corrected. But could that not be because the GOP were in power in the senate? Anyhoo I'd bank that the Dems wouldn't have turned the cash down if it'd been offered. But point taken.

Do you really think he's gonna do real time. I have my doubts. But if so, honey, we're breaking out the good champagne!
posted by tkchrist at 10:59 AM on May 25, 2006


His pardon in 2008 will be the first Bush signs.

This Presidential pardon thing confuses me very much (I'm in the UK).

The impression I get is that an outgoing President can pardon a variety of common criminals for no reason other than they're his mates, or he owes them one, and that this is accepted as not being a particularly big deal, and certainly not to the point where the President loses this power.

Now that obviously can't be right, because that would be corrupt and ridiculous. So I must be missing something.

Please. Tell me I am.
posted by reynir at 10:59 AM on May 25, 2006


Douchebag!
posted by freedryk at 11:03 AM on May 25, 2006


Oh good. We tried to watch the execrable Memron last night, and I still have a bad taste in my mouth. This almost gets rid of it.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:04 AM on May 25, 2006


You're not. The President has the Constitutional right to pardon anyone for any reason without argument, with the sole exception of impeachments.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:05 AM on May 25, 2006


nah, Kenny-Boy's just not that bright.

I bet he's the smartest guy to pull a jailyard train in 2007.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:05 AM on May 25, 2006


Actually, while I can't find the link right now, Bush has pardoned far fewer people than any other president, if I recall correctly. Then again, he might be saving it up for that special night before Hillary comes to power when he'll need to bail Cheney, Rove, and Libby.
posted by bardic at 11:09 AM on May 25, 2006


reynir, that's functionally but not technically correct. Technically the president can pardon pretty much anyone he wants, but there is political fallout for a sitting president to do it when he still expects to have the job tomorrow, and Congress can have his ass for it if they've the poliltical will to do so. That's where the "outgoing" part comes in. The very, very questionable pardons are usually done on the way out, with the expectation (so far pretty much always right) that since they're about to lose their presidential powers anyway, no one will have the political will to do anything about it.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:10 AM on May 25, 2006


reynir, you're pretty much right about the scope of the pardon power, although the intent is something a little better than merely giving friends of the President a pass.

The idea is that the President should be able to grant pardons as a check on the power of the judiciary. In cases where the judicial branch upholds a verdict that is clearly an injustice or wrong etc. the President can undo that. It's also sometimes used if a person has clearly demonstrated rehabilitation. For instance, George Washington granted pardons to the leaders of the Whiskey Rebellion as a show of good faith once the rebellion was over. It's almost always controversial, but at it's best, it's not a terrible thing.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:13 AM on May 25, 2006


Why would Bush bother to pardon Lay? It'd just make him, and the GOP, look bad. It seems more likely that Lay et. al have served their purpose and will be tossed aside like many other Bush supporters before him.
posted by elwoodwiles at 11:14 AM on May 25, 2006


I bet he's the smartest guy to pull a jailyard train in 2007.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:05 AM PST on May 25 [+fave] [!]


Not that I'd volunteer to do any time, but Lay will serve at a "Club Fed" minimum security prison. It's not what you'd call "Hard Time" but he'll probably be there the rest of his days.

The impression I get is that an outgoing President can pardon a variety of common criminals for no reason other than they're his mates, or he owes them one, and that this is accepted as not being a particularly big deal, and certainly not to the point where the President loses this power.

Now that obviously can't be right, because that would be corrupt and ridiculous. So I must be missing something.


The president can pardon anyone he wants at any time he wants, I believe. Typically they do it on their way out of office to avoid scrutiny. The perception of corruption always prevails, so they typically are careful about who they pardon and the ramifications it may have on their legacy.

One notable exception to this is Bill Clinton, who pardoned a guy named Marc Rich. Rich had been convicted of tax evasion and fled the country. His ex-wife was a big donor to Clinton and Democrats, and gave big donations to Hilary's senate campaign. There were also allegations that Roger (Bill's bro) and Hugh (Hilary's bro) were taking payments from people in exchange for presidential pardons.

All this scandal may be complete BS, but it did have an effect on Clinton's perception, at least in his first year or two out of office.

I doubt Bush will pardon Lay. It's too big a case and too fresh in the memory. Maybe in 2012 or 2016 someone will pardon him, but not in 2008.
posted by b_thinky at 11:17 AM on May 25, 2006


This Presidential pardon thing confuses me very much

The releveant wikipedia entry.
posted by ludwig_van at 11:18 AM on May 25, 2006


It'd just make him, and the GOP, look bad.

*laughs hysterically*

Yeah. Worrying about looking bad on ethical grounds really tends to keep them up at night, and has been a powerful check on their actions, what with there always being consequences for their misdeeds and everything.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:19 AM on May 25, 2006


It'd just make him, and the GOP, look bad.

When has that ever stopped him before?
posted by Mars Saxman at 11:21 AM on May 25, 2006


Unless waived, the prison Lay and Skilling will be sent to will depend in part on the length of the sentence imposed. Generally, male offenders with more than 10 years remaining to serve do not qualify for minimum security. More here.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:25 AM on May 25, 2006


I'll have to add the redundant (yet obligatory) "It couldn't have happened to a more deserving pair of fellas."
posted by blucevalo at 11:39 AM on May 25, 2006


Unless waived

Monju, in your opinion (if you have one), what's the likelihood of a waiver in this situation? None of the other PSF's seem to apply to Lay (well maybe, a torturous redefining of "Serious Telephone Abuse"): does that make a waiver on sentence length more likely?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:45 AM on May 25, 2006


PST, honestly, I have no idea. Given their age and nonviolent nature of the crimes, I wouldn't be surprised if it was waived. On the other hand, I have absolutely no experience in this area, so I don't know if a waiver is routine.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:47 AM on May 25, 2006


tkrist, sentencing is on 9/11. Which is some kind of funny.
posted by QIbHom at 11:52 AM on May 25, 2006


b_thinky: One notable exception to this is Bill Clinton

get hung up much?
posted by hackly_fracture at 11:57 AM on May 25, 2006


hackly: I guess I haven't been around that many presidents, but that's the biggest pardon scandal I can remember happening. I guess Nixon was way bigger, but I wasn't around then. I think for the next few pardon cycles at least, presidents will tend to play it safer.
posted by b_thinky at 12:00 PM on May 25, 2006


Thanks everyone for the info about pardons.

That's...astonishing.
posted by reynir at 12:08 PM on May 25, 2006


Enron’s demise alone took with it more than $60 billion in market value, almost $2.1 billion in pension plans and 5,600 jobs.

So Mr. Adam Smith, the "invisible hand" ? It seems to be working, the money is gone ! I bet you are spinning in your grave crying "this isn't what I meant ! " Too bad it's being used as a car salesman trick nowadays ; few have figured the market forces scam.
posted by elpapacito at 12:11 PM on May 25, 2006


.
posted by xammerboy at 12:19 PM on May 25, 2006


When Adam Smith wrote, money was backed by something and couldn't be lent from nowhere, then turning around and selling the debts as income streams. Which can be used to finance futher lending. Which can be then sold off. etc. Also known as "flipping."

Free profit for everybody! We're all rich!

Now, how much of the economy runs on essentially this process?
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:25 PM on May 25, 2006


"It'd just make him, and the GOP, look bad."

I don't think Shrub has given shit one how the GOP looks at any time during this his second term.
posted by mischief at 12:44 PM on May 25, 2006


reynir -- I agree, the complacent acceptance of the (ab)use of presidential pardons in the US is a real abberation to the general vigilance with which Americans police/maintain the separation of powers. Especially considering that they can pardon people pre-emptively, as Ford did when pardoning Nixon for crimes he was not yet convicted of.
posted by Rumple at 12:46 PM on May 25, 2006


If prisons are crime schools where the bad learn how to be worse, then just imagine what diabolical fraud Ken will have planned upon his release in 2016!
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 12:56 PM on May 25, 2006


that's the biggest pardon scandal I can remember happening.

Do the Christmas Eve pardons not count? Of course, that was just possible treason...no big deal.
posted by dilettante at 1:14 PM on May 25, 2006


"It'd just make him, and the GOP, look bad."

"I don't think Shrub has given shit one how the GOP looks at any time during this his second term."

Yeah, it's my impression that the second term is when you cash-in on these little chestnuts.
posted by lilboo at 1:25 PM on May 25, 2006


I know better than to think this is the beginning of accountability or anything, but color me encouraged.
posted by chicobangs at 1:36 PM on May 25, 2006


Of course they don't count, dilettante. They were heroes to the right. The pardon wasn't a tacit admission of culpability for selling arms to our enemies to fund Nicaragua, but a heartfelt thanks from the leader of a nation whose rabble just didn't understand the idea of "regime change."

*proceeds to retch*

Bush Sr. not only pardoned these chuckleheads, but they're still profiting from the crime. Oliver North is on the friggin' talk circuit, nearly twenty years later, and Dubya actually went and reinstalled some of these chuckleheads in his administration.

As an aside, I love how our media is right now casting a pall over European countries that paid ransoms for hostages in Iraq, neatly forgetting that we actually provided weapons for hostages in Iran just a couple of decades ago. A LOT of weapons.
posted by FormlessOne at 1:38 PM on May 25, 2006


b_thinky -

"...the biggest pardon scandal I can remember happening."

Then you forgot the Reagan/Bush Iran/Contra affair.
posted by rougy at 1:56 PM on May 25, 2006


i can never remember this clearly, but around the beginning of his administration, wasn't there a period in which enron was being criticized and bush basically said that enron was a decent company being run the way a company should be run...
posted by troybob at 2:24 PM on May 25, 2006


troybob: Of course not. Why, Bush hadn't even heard of Enron until a couple of months ago...
posted by The Card Cheat at 2:37 PM on May 25, 2006



posted by Smedleyman at 2:52 PM on May 25, 2006


$2.1 billion in pension plans

HOLY SH*T! And nobody has popped him?

If he goes to jail they better have guy under tight security in lock up. He'll get shived for a carton of smokes.
posted by tkchrist at 3:30 PM on May 25, 2006


He'll get shived for a carton of smokes.

In a movie. In reality he probably buys inmates goods.
posted by elpapacito at 3:56 PM on May 25, 2006


So when does sentencing happen?

9/11/06. No foolin'.
posted by hobocode at 4:57 PM on May 25, 2006


Note that the UK has a very similar thing. Under the Royal Perogative of Mercy, the monarch may grant celmency or pardon to any convict. The most common use of this was to commute the sentence of death to life imprisionment or transportation.

In current times, such is only exercised on advice of the government, in particular, the Home Secretary.
posted by eriko at 5:15 PM on May 25, 2006


he'll be in a country-club prison until Bush pardons him just before leaving office. more on Kenny Boy and Bush here
posted by amberglow at 5:50 PM on May 25, 2006


If the odds are that Bush will pardon him, little wonder he didn't put a whole lot of effort into the trial.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:11 PM on May 25, 2006


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