Putting a positive spin on it:
“Certainly we’re surprised,” a shaken Lay said Thursday after a jury capped a four-month-long fraud and conspiracy trial and in its sixth day of deliberations returned guilty verdicts against him and Skilling. “I think it’s more appropriate to say we’re shocked. This is not the outcome we expected.”
Besides all six counts in the main trial, Lay, Enron’s founder, also was convicted of four charges of bank fraud and making false statements to banks in a separate non-jury trial before U.S. District Judge Sim Lake related to his personal finances.
Skilling was convicted of 19 counts of fraud, conspiracy and insider trading at a trial spawned by one of the biggest business scandals in U.S. history, the toppling of a high-profile energy trader that once was the nation’s seventh-largest company.
“They’ll each be in a prison uniform,” agreed Douglas Young, a San Francisco-based white collar defense lawyer who’s followed the case. “But I don’t think 100 years or 50 years.”
Whatever their incarceration, he said, it could be stalled for a year or more.
“They have excellent defense lawyers,” Young said. “I think they performed extremely well. They tried a heck of a good case. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. That same quality is going to go into post-trial motions, advocacy motions.
“Expect the same level of intensity.”
You have to hand it to the Skilling and Lay legal team, they did come in second place. That has to count for something…