A former top Enron Corp. executive testified at the trial of former CEOs Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling on Wednesday he regretted taking part in a scheme to disguise massive losses at the energy company.
The witness, David Delainey, a former member of Enron’s top management, has provided some of the most damaging testimony yet against Skilling, although he could be overshadowed by the prosecution’s star witness, former Chief Financial Officer Andrew Fastow, who prosecutors said could take the witness stand as early as Monday.
Delainey had testified on Tuesday the company shifted hundreds of millions of dollars in losses from its struggling retail energy business to its stronger wholesale division but did not disclose the move to investors, all with the consent of Skilling.
Under withering cross examination from Skilling’s lawyer Daniel Petrocelli, Delainey said the March 2001 meeting with Skilling and other top managers where the decision was made to hide the losses stuck out as the most egregious act of dishonesty he participated in at the company.
“Every day I wish I would have stepped up from that table and walked out. That was the worst conduct I had ever been part of and everybody knew exactly what was going on at that meeting,” said Delainey, who served as chief executive of both Enron’s retail business and its North American trading division.