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What happens to Lay’s estate?

Bob Moon Jul 6, 2006
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What happens to Lay’s estate?

Bob Moon Jul 6, 2006
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TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: Former Enron CEO Kenneth Lay is dead, but the case against him may not be. On top of his recent fraud conviction, federal attorneys were trying to force Lay to cough up $43 million of what they called “ill-gotten gains.” More now from Marketplace’s Bob Moon.

BOB MOON: The Justice Department is deciding what course to take, but the government could now seek a judgment against Lay’s estate, as could victimized Enron shareholders who’ve lined up with their own lawsuits.

Securities law attorney Tom Ajamie says the case has become largely one-sided in their favor:

TOM AJAMIE:“In some ways, those civil lawsuits are a little bit easier now, because Mr. Lay is not really there to defend himself.”

Ajamie says those who supported Lay by testifying during the criminal trial could be less inclined to come forward now.

AJAMIE:“They were doing that to help him individually, but he’s not there anymore. And it’s not the same thing for his children to call, or maybe his wife to call, because they don’t really know these people who could have come into the court.”

Lay had insisted he was broke. But even if prosecutors were ultimately successful in recovering the $43 million in assets they claim he held onto, that would scarcely match the more than $25 billion in losses claimed by shareholders.

In New York, I’m Bob Moon for Marketplace.

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