Enron's Closing Arguments

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Closing arguments begin today in Houston in the fraud and conspiracy trial of Enron founder Kenneth Lay and former Chief Executive Jeffrey Skilling.

Prosecutors and the defense teams have six hours each to boil down the highlights of 54 witnesses, mountains of documents and hours of video and audiotapes.

Then the jury will get the chance to stop listening -- and start talking. Deliberations are to begin Wednesday.

The government contends Lay and Skilling repeatedly lied to employees and investors by spouting false optimism about Enron's financial health when they knew bad news was brewing. The government also says that unsustainable accounting tricks crafted illusory success in the company's final years.

The two men, who both testified, counter that no fraud occurred at Enron other than a few executives who skimmed millions from hidden scams.

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