Ken Lay, Enron icon, is dead

Published: Wednesday July 5, 2006

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"Enron founder Kenneth Lay, who was convicted of helping perpetuate one of the most sprawling business frauds in U.S. history, has died of a heart attack in Colorado," AP reports. "He was 64."

Houston Chronicle: "Lay suffered a massive coronary Tuesday and died, according to Dr. Steve Wende, of First Methodist Houston and died.

"He and his wife, Linda, were in Colorado for the week, and his death was totally unexpected. Apparently, his heart simply gave out.," he said in a memo to church staff." "Former Enron Corp. chairman and founder Ken Lay died of a massive heart attack Tuesday, KPRC Local 2 reported.

Lay, 64, was admitted to the Aspen Valley Hospital overnight with a massive coronary, sources told KPRC.

Doctors said his heart simply "gave out" and the death was unexpected.

Lay was found guilty on May 25 on six counts of conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud in a case born from one of the biggest business scandals in U.S. history.

The verdict put the blame for the 2001 demise of the high-profile energy trader, once the nation's seventh-largest company, squarely on its top two executives. It came in the sixth day of deliberations following a trial that lasted nearly four months.

In a separate, non-jury bank fraud trial, U.S. District Judge Sim Lake found Lay guilty of bank fraud and making false statements to banks related to his personal banking.

He was to be sentenced on Oct. 23. Lay's charges carried a maximum penalty of 45 years in prison for the corporate trial and 120 years in the personal banking trial.

Former Enron CEO Jeff Skilling, 52, was found guilty with Lay in the fraud trial. He was convicted of 19 of the 28 counts against him."