Prosecutors Will Oppose Wiping Lay's Record Clean

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Lawyers for the estate of the late convicted Enron founder Kenneth Lay have filed court papers formally asking a judge to erase Lay's convictions.

Also in Wednesday's filing, they asked that the indictment against Lay be dismissed because he died before he had appealed.

Lay was convicted of ten counts of fraud, conspiracy and lying to banks in two separate cases in May. In July, he died of heart disease.

But a one-sentence addition to the filing revealed that federal prosecutors aren't willing to rubber-stamp the request.

The filing noted that Lay's attorney Michael Ramsey had conferred with prosecutor Kathy Ruemmler, who indicated the government would oppose this motion.

If US District Judge Sim Lake clears Lay's record, that would thwart the government's bid to seek 43-point-five (m) million dollars in ill-gotten gains prosecutors allege he pocketed by participating in Enron's fraud.

The government could still pursue those gains in civil court, but they would have to compete with other litigants, if any, also pursuing Lay's estate.