Enron – The Ken Lay Indictment
Questions/Answers for Discussion:
1. Is there sufficient evidence of fraudulent intent to convict Ken Lay for stock manipulation "beyond a reasonable doubt"? Why or why not? If we are answering the question with the given facts presented in this case study, there are only allegations. To convict Ken Lay for stock manipulation 'beyond a reasonable doubt' means that a trial must happen and both sides: Prosecutor and Defense will present a case to convince the jurors that he is guilty or not guilty of every element of a crime. Since the case did not make it to trial and these elements were not meant then a conviction cannot occur. Based on information given, there was intent or knowledge of wrongdoing which constitutes part of a crime, as opposed to the action or conduct of the accused. It is very difficult to argue 'no knowledge' of a 1.2 billion dollar write down. In a public company, it is the CEO's responsibility to report any and all information that details the health of the company, immediately. Any sign of trouble needs to be reported to the SEC and shareholders as soon as it is found. An organizational restructuring around the same time of several hundred million dollars being reported at a loss sounds too convenient to claim ignorance.
As we are aware, based on information researched outside of the case study, On October 17, 2006, since Lay died prior to exhausting his appeals, his conviction was vacated. The federal appellate court governing the district where Lay was indicted, indicates that vacation of the conviction had to be automatically granted. When vacation occurs, the law views it as though he had never been indicted, tried and convicted.
2. Do you think being socially responsible should weigh as a factor in a juror’s legal determination of guilt or innocence? Why or why not? Ken Lay may have been a donor to Houston's branch of the NAACP and extended his generosity to almost every segment of the...
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