Enron Verdict Message: Lie To Investors, Go To Jail


The case that ended with the convictions of former Enron executives Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling “is the highest profile white-collar trial in the past 20 to 30 years and it has literally been watched by the world,” Thomas Ajamie, a securities-fraud lawyer in Houston, tells the Christian Science Monitor. “The broader message to people in corporate America is: ‘Don’t lie to your investors or you’ll go to jail.’ ”

Lay faces a maximum of about 165 years in prison and Skilling about 85 years, but they will both realistically get between 10 and 25 years each, says Gerald Treece, assistant dean of the South Texas College of Law in Houston. Others expect the punishment will be greater. “I believe it will be the stiffest sentence for corporate crime in our history,” says Jacob Zamansky, a securities fraud lawyer in New York. Says Christopher Bebel, a former federal prosecutor: “This has undoubtedly had a powerful effect on the corporate mind-set. CEOs from Main Street to Wall Street are going to be more hesitant to deceive investors while lining their own pockets.”

Link: http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0526/p25s02-usju.html

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