Enron Chiefs Convicted

MAY 25, 2006 - Posted at 11:32 a.m. CST

HOUSTON - Former Enron chiefs Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling have been convicted of conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud.

The verdict came in the sixth day of deliberations by a jury in Houston, after a trial that lasted nearly four months.

Prosecutors accused both executives of repeatedly lying to investors and employees about Enron's health before the company's collapse in December of 2001.

Lay, who founded Enron, was convicted on all six counts against him, including conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud.  He was also convicted in a separate trial of personal banking fraud.

Former CEO Skilling was convicted on 19 of the 28 counts against him.

The verdict was announced four years after charges were brought and just a couple of hours after the jury resumed its deliberations for a sixth day.

Lay faces a combined maximum punishment of 45 years.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)