Enron chiefs convicted

Houston, May 26:

The former Enron bosses Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling were convicted on fraud charges stemming from one of the most infamous scandals in corporate history.

Jurors in the trial returned their verdict after just five days and two hours of deliberations, despite dozens of charges and often complex financial detail during the four-month trial. Both men now face the prospect of spending the rest of their lives in prison.

The convictions are a resounding victory for the US government, which was under pressure to hold individuals to account for the collapse of what was once America’s seventh-largest company. Thousands lost jobs and life savings when Enron filed for bankruptcy in December 2001, the beginning of a turbulent period for corporate America. It took more than four years for Enron case to reach trial.

As he emerged from the court with his lawyer, Skilling looked pale with shock. Asked whether he would ever accept his guilt, he shrugged and answered no. “We have fought the good fight,’’ he said. “Some things work and some things don’t.”