Lay's Widow Lays Claim to Assets Government is Trying to Seize

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The widow of Enron's founder Kenneth Lay says she owns the assets the federal government is trying to seize.

The assets are the target of a civil forfeiture action against her late husband's estate by the federal government. The government is trying to recover $12.7 million it claims were "proceeds of the fraud proven in the criminal case against Lay."

Federal prosecutors were forced to file the civil action after Lay's convictions for his role in Enron's collapse were vacated following his death last year.

In a court filing yesterday, his widow, Linda Lay, asserted she is the "rightful owner" of the assets the government is trying to seize.

Prosecutors are looking to take three things: $2.5 million of the value of the couple's condominium in one of Houston's most exclusive high-rises; $10.2 million from a partnership named for both the Lays; and nearly $23,000 in a bank account.

Linda Lay's attorney says in the filing that Kenneth Lay's 50 percent share of both the condominium and the bank account were transferred to his client after the Enron founder's death.

In his will, Kenneth Lay left all of his assets to his wife.