The Case Against Ken Lay

Enron's former chief claims he was out of the loop. How prosecutors aim to show otherwise

Oct. 23, 2001, stands out as a particularly bad day for Ken Lay. As word circulated that the energy giant he founded was under investigation for balance-sheet shenanigans, the CEO tried to pull Enron's stock out of a tailspin by arranging a special conference call with analysts. "We're not trying to conceal anything," he told them. "I'm disclosing everything we've found." After Lay got off the phone, he gathered Enron's thousands of employees via a live webcast and video teleconference, and tried to reassure them too. "Our liquidity is fine," he said of the company that was about to flame out...

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