Enron founder Ken Lay acknowledged he violated federal rules covering loan agreements in buying stock with loan money, but never intended the actions to be fraudulent. Lay took the stand in his personal banking bench trial, as a jury dliberates his fraud and conspiracy case with co-defendant Jeff Skilling. Houston Public Radio’s Ed Mayberry reports. Aired 5/23/06 during the KUHF Morning Business Report.
Lay is accused of intentionally defrauding three banks by using loan proceeds to buy Enron stock on margin, although he signed documents promising not to do so. He answered defense questions in this separate bench trial, as a jury decides his fate in the larger Enron fraud and conspiracy trial.Lay testified that rules he broke regarding buying margin stock with credit lines were confusing and “not intuitive.”
Lay will spend more time on the stand this morning, finishing with defense questions and then answering questions from prosecutor John Hueston.
An eight-woman, four-man jury will spend its fourth day deciding whether to convict Lay and Skilling on conspiracy and fraud charges related to Enron’s collapse. They’ve been deliberating since last Wednesday, weighing evidence for the six counts against Lay and Skilling’s 28 counts.
Meanwhile, the Enron Broadband case has gone to the jury. Enron Broadband’s former chief financial officer Kevin Howard and former senior accounting director Michael Krautz are being tried before U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore on four counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and falsify records. Their first trial with three other defendants ended largely in a mistrial.
Ed Mayberry, Houston Public Radio News.