Scandal: Enron bankruptcy
Best quote from the testimony: "The documents give the impression that [to believe he had no knowledge], Mr. Lay was the most out-to-lunch CEO of any corporation in America." Republican Senator Peter Fitzgerald of Illinois
Over the course of 16 years, energy-commodities company Enron grew from a $10 billion company to a $16 billion company. Then in 24 days, it went bankrupt. While the company's rank and file literally wept in the streets, Enron's executives parachuted out, fortunes intact. At least for a while. When the Senate called founder and president Ken Lay to testify, he invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. But he couldn't dodge the courts. In 2006, Lay was found guilty of 10 counts of securities fraud; however, he died before being sentenced. Jeff Skilling answered Congress's pointed questions with recalcitrant denials and bouts of amnesia. He, too, was later convicted of multiple felonies and is serving 24 years in prison.