In a separate bench trial, U.S. District Judge Sim Lake will decide if Enron's founder used $75 million in loans from three banks over several years to buy stock on margin. Lay is charged with one count of bank fraud and three counts of lying to Bank of America, Chase Bank and Compass Bank.for signing contracts indicating that he would not use the money for that purpose. Lay repaid the loans, but prosecutors contend he broke the law by reneging on his promise.
Lay's administrative assistant Sally Ballard confirmed that an autopen machine was used on many of the documents submitted into evidence. Lay expects to take the stand in the bank case, as he did in the fraud and conspiracy trial.
The jury in the fraud and conspiracy case is not deliberating on Friday--they've decided to work from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. They will resume considering the six counts of fraud and conspiracy against Lay and 28 counts of fraud, conspiracy, insider trading and lying to auditors against Jeff Skilling on Monday. Judge Lake will issue his verdict in Lay's banking case only after jurors in the larger case return their verdicts.
Ed Mayberry, Houston Public Radio News.