Skip to comments.Ken Lay's Final Loophole
Posted on 07/06/2006 7:39:44 AM PDT by toaster
...because Ken Lay's case may still have been appealed, Lay's death expunges the conviction from his record.
This means that any orders to vacate his wealth are annulled, and his family gets to keep millions of dollars that they likely would have lost had he gone to jail.
(Excerpt) Read more at nizenotes.com ...
I don't know who raymond Nize is but he links to the Law Professor's Blog and it seems they know a thing or two about law. http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/whitecollarcrime_blog/2006/07/ken_lay_dies_of.html
It was the only path left open.
Several civil suits are pending ... I doubt much of value will be left to the Ken Lay estate after all the litigation is over. The lawyer fees alone will be enormous.
"I'm not a lawyer, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night".
It's not the *heirs* that would be sued in civil court,it's the *estate*.Unless I'm mistaken,the probate laws of every state in the union require the executor of an estate to settle all debts incurred by the deceased during his/her lifetime before distributing proceeds to any heir.
Also,was his wife also convicted of one or more crimes in this matter? If so...and if any substantial portion of his estate was given to the wife in a will,then one would think that *she*,too,could be pursued in civil court.
I'm certainly no lawyer,so I'm probably in way over my head here.
Oh no. Can't the law be changed somehow?
Yes I will...I'm sure there are tons of legal arguments that it is NOT Lay's money, and by extension therefore his heirs won't get to keep it.
Maybe I'm just a common sense kinda guy. I'd make a lousy attorney.
You go after the estate ... not specifically the family. Ken Lay stiffed a hell of a lot of people, they want retribution.
Yes, but it's stolen money. Don't the victim's rights trump those of the family, considered strictly as a matter of justice?
(The Palestinian terrorist regime is the crisis and Israel's fist is the answer.)
By Matt Daily Wed Jul 5, 8:17 PM ET
HOUSTON (Reuters) - Ken Lay's sudden death on Wednesday will scuttle U.S. prosecutors bid to seize $43.5 million they charged the former chief executive earned through illegal acts at Enron Corp., legal experts said.
"Because of what's happened to Ken Lay, everything has been extinguished," said Joel Androphy, a partner at law firm Berg & Androphy who has closely followed the case.
However, claims filed by shareholders against Lay and other senior Enron executives in a civil case can proceed, the lawyers said. [bold my emphasis]
Lay, 64, died of coronary artery disease early on Wednesday in Colorado, just six weeks after a jury convicted him and former chief executive officer Jeffrey Skilling of conspiracy and fraud in the collapse of Enron into bankruptcy in 2001.
The U.S. Justice Department's Enron Taskforce filed a motion on Friday asking U.S. District Court Judge Sim Lake to force Lay to pay $43.5 million and Skilling to pay $139.3 million.
Under precedents set by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, a defendant is not technically ruled guilty until the person has been sentenced and has exhausted the appeals process, lawyers said.
Since Lay died before his sentencing and appeal, the conviction does not stand, and the financial claim by the government will not proceed, they said.
"I think it's pretty clear the conviction will be abated," Michael Wynne, a former federal prosecutor now in private practice said.
Lay's lawyers were not available for comment on Wednesday.
A spokesman for the Justice Department declined to comment on the legal implications of Lay's death, but said he expected a decision would likely be announced in the coming days.
Nancy Rapoport, a professor at the University of Houston Law Center, said the courts have previously ruled that once a defendant had died, the process could not go forward because there was no further penalty the legal system could implement.
"The reason they do it this way is there's nothing really left to punish," she said.
I do think it's true - if a person dies before appeals are heard and disposed of, he was never convicted. The government can't get the assets.
I would guess, though, that the individuals defrauded could go after his assets, whether he's dead or alive.
I'm betting on a class-action suit of some kind.
Civil cases are another matter. What will or will not be available to satisfy a future civil judgment is a matter of Texas state law, but you should not assume that all of Lay's assets will be available to satisfy a future judgment in a civil case. Many of those assets will pass to heirs as a consequence of his death, and it is not at all certain that future creditors will be able to overturn those transfers.
The good man scorns the Wicked!
Through their lives, our children learn
What we miss, when we misbehave:
And Goodness knows
The Wicked's lives are lonely
The Wicked die alone
It just shows when you're Wicked
You're left only
On your own
Yes, Goodness knows
The Wicked's lives are lonely
The Wicked cry alone
Nothing grows for the Wicked
They reap only
What they've sown
Artist: Cristy Candler
Song: No One Mourns the Wicked
Can you tell I just saw Wicked in Chicago last weekend?