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Friday, April 07, 2006

Lay and Skilling Prepare to Present Their Defense in the Enron Trial

Next week I will be in Houston at the Enron trial for the "main event", Jeff Skilling's Enron's former CEO, testimony in his own defense.

The government has so far done an excellent job of presenting a compelling case through 15 plus witnesses that there was a massive fraud taking place at Enron and Jeff Skilling and Ken Lay either directed the activity or were well aware of it. A high point of the prosecution's case was the testimony of whistleblower Sherron Watkins, who memorably submitted a memo stating that "Enron will collapse in a wave of accounting scandals."

The defense has a huge uphill battle to try and convince the jury that Lay and Skilling did not have personal knowledge of the fraud and did not participate in it. They need to create a "reasonable doubt" in the minds of at least one juror to avoid conviction. Unless Skilling is able to pull out the proverbial "Hail Mary" pass, it is likely that he is heading to prison rather than back to the boardroom.

You can read my comments on the Enron case on my blog which is published at


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