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Enron jury reaches a verdict in fraud and conspiracy case

Published: Thursday May 25, 2006

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The four-year Enron scandal has come to a close, with former Enron chiefs Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling having been found guilty on dozens of charges of conspiracy and fraud.

The two were accused of hiding the energy company's financial troubles and accounting scandals from investors. In December 2001, the company fell into bankruptcy.

Lay, aged 64, was found guilty on all charges brought against him.

Skilling, 52, was found guilty of the first 35 counts brought against him. He was acquitted, however, of all but one count of insider trading. Skilling sold stock in the company shortly before its downfall.

Sources vary from maximum sentence estimates from 45-165 years. Federal sentencing guidelines are no longer mandatory.

The four-month trial ended after six days of jury deliberation.

Outside the courthouse, Skilling once again denied committing any crimes. He also thanked, among other people, his children for their support, and suggested plans to appeal based on the trial's venue.

Yesterday, a $6.6 billion civil settlement was approved by courts relating to the case. Added to earlier settlements, investors are now due to receive $7.2 billion. Plaintiffs have claimed losses of $40 billion in the case.

Sentencing is due to take place September 11.