Ken Lay, former Enron chairman found guilty on all charges; Jeff Skilling, former CEO, guilty in 19 out of 28 countsIt looks like the huge scandal which has been enveloping the Enron giant, ever since the company called it quits by declaring bankruptcy in December 2001, has been brought to an end when two of the most important people of its core were found guilty in fraud trial, which ensued afterwards.
A Houston jury found both Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling guilty on multiple counts of fraud and conspiracy that triggered the collapse of what was once the seventh most important company in the US.
The company, once bankrupt, left thousands of workers unemployed and without any retirement savings since the company stock price climbed down enormously.
Adding to this was the fact that Enron placed a lockdown on its 401(k) plans, which meant that employees were prevented from accessing their accounts because the company needed to change the administrators for the stock plan. When the company ended the lockdown, share prices had climbed down even further.
The drastic verdicts for both Enron top officials represented a bittersweet triumph for many of the former Enron employees, who could finally breathe out with relief that the whole Enron saga was over, as they struggled to find new jobs and reconstruct their savings, altogether start a new life ever since the company registered its major business fall.
Rod Jordan, co-founder of the Severed Enron Employee Coalition stated:
"I think it was the right verdict; I always have been disappointed that men of that potential quality would step over the line. I think it's vindication as former employees that the top people were found guilty and had their day in court".
Yesterday's decision, with the two former CEOs being convicted, sent a strong message to all giant corporations in the US that once they attempt to lie to their shareholders and employees, they will face prison no matter what.