In the 54th day of the Enron trial, government prosecutor Kathryn Ruemmler told jurors that Enron founder Kenneth Lay and ex-CEO Jeffrey Skilling orchestrated a massive fraud that led to the bankruptcy that symbolized the nation’s rash of corporate scandals.
“Through accounting tricks, hocus pocus, outright lies, they painted a picture to the outside world [about the state of Enron] that was dramatically different than what was happening inside those doors,” Ruemmler said as she began the government’s closing arguments. “Those lies were criminal.”
“This is a case of lies and choices,” she said, reiterating the government’s key phrase from opening arguments. “Owners of Enron were cheated, they were stolen from, they were profoundly harmed by what these two men did. That is fraud, that is why we are here, that is why this matters.”
The government has a total of six hours to present closing arguments over two days. As Ruemmler concluded her portion of the summation, she appealed to the jury to hold Lay and Skilling accountable for the choices they made and the lies they told.
“Find them guilty on all counts of the indictment,” she said.