No Foul Play in Ken Lay Death

The disgraced businessman died of coronary artery disease, his autopsy reveals

Ken Lay, the founder of the Enron Corporation – whose name became synonymous with corporate abuse and fraud after the company’s collapse – died of a massive heart attack after being rushed to a hospital in Aspen, Colo., on Tuesday. He was 64.

Late Wednesday, Mesa County, Colo., coroner Robert Kurtzman told reporters that Lay died of coronary artery disease, and there was “no evidence of foul play.” Toxicology reports are expected in two to three weeks.

A statement released by family spokesperson Kelly Kimberly said, “The Lays have a very large family with whom they need to communicate, and out of respect for the family we will release further details at a later time.”

Lay served as the CEO and chairman of Enron from 1986 until his resignation on Jan. 23, 2002, except for a few months in 2001 when he was chairman and Jeffrey Skilling was CEO.

On July 7, 2004, he was indicted by a grand jury on 11 counts of securities fraud and related charges. One charge was later dismissed.

On May 25, 2006, Lay was found guilty of 10 counts of fraud and conspiracy related to the collapse of Enron. Skilling was convicted of 18 counts of fraud and conspiracy and one count of insider trading.

In a separate bench trial, Judge Sim Lake found Lay guilty on three counts of making false statements to banks and one count of bank fraud.

Because each count carried a maximum 5- to 10-year sentence, legal experts said Lay could have faced more than 25 years in prison.

He was awaiting sentencing later this year. Among his survivors is his wife, Linda Lay.

Related Articles