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Highlights of testimony in the Enron Trial

Here are some highlights of the testimony in the fraud and conspiracy trial of Enron Corp. founder Kenneth Lay and former CEO Jeffrey Skilling, which began with jury selection Jan. 30.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Here are some highlights of the testimony in the fraud and conspiracy trial of Enron Corp. founder Kenneth Lay and former CEO Jeffrey Skilling, which began with jury selection Jan. 30. The case is expected to go to the jury on Wednesday after 2 1/2 days of closing arguments that followed more than 14 weeks of testimony from 25 prosecution witnesses and 29 defense witnesses. With little tangible evidence, experts have said the case could hinge on who said what to whom and when:

March 1
"As a management team, we did lie. We had a very compelling story that we were telling and we weren't telling the complete truth." David Delainey, former head of trading unit Enron North America, whom former CEO Jeffrey Skilling appointed in early 2001 to run Enron Energy Services, the company's retail unit.

March 3
"I wish on my kids' lives I had stepped away from that table." Delainey, recalling a late March 2001 meeting at which he reluctantly acquiesced to a Skilling-approved move of the retail unit's trading function into Enron North America to hide losses. Skilling said there weren't losses.

March 2
"They're on to us." Kevin Hannon, former chief operating officer of Enron's broadband unit, quoting Skilling at a May 2001 meeting in response to a small analyst firm's criticism of the energy company's reliance on deals with partnerships run by then-Chief Financial Officer Andrew Fastow to book earnings.

April 13
"Oh, no, they're on to us." Skilling mimicking the high-pitched voice of the Saturday Night Live character of more than 30 years ago, Mr. Bill. Skilling explained that he didn't remember making the comment, but if he did, he might have done it in a comic vein.

March 7
"Get me as much of that juice as you can." Former Chief Financial Officer Andrew Fastow, quoting Skilling regarding Enron's use of Fastow's so-called LJM partnerships that Fastow created and ran to conduct deals with Enron so the energy company could book earnings. Fastow said the partnerships helped Enron manipulate earnings through carefully coordinated transactions that skirted accounting rules.

April 11
"I don't use the word 'juice' in that context." Skilling.

March 7
"I thought the foundation was crumbling and we were doing everything we could to prop it up as long as we could. We were in pretty bad shape." Fastow recalling how he warned founder Kenneth Lay about Enron's failing health in the latter half of 2001, after Skilling had abruptly resigned as CEO in mid-August that year and Lay had resumed that role. Fastow said four financial structures dubbed Raptors that were created in 2000 to house poor Enron assets had crumbled, international assets were grossly overvalued and retail energy and broadband divisions were failing.

April 25
"I don't recall him ever telling me the company was in dire straits." Lay denying Fastow's claim.

March 8
"I believe I was extremely greedy and that I lost my moral compass and I've done terrible things that I very much regret." Fastow, on his motives to skim millions of dollars from Enron. He pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy and agreed up front to serve a decade in prison. He will be sentenced June 13.

March 8
"I think we committed crimes together, yes." Fastow, when pressed by Skilling lawyer Daniel Petrocelli about whether he believed Skilling was guilty of wrongdoing.

March 14
"I said I believed what Andy Fastow did was not only improper, but terminally stupid." Former top Enron risk analyst Vince Kaminski quoting his own comment at an October 2001 meeting that got a cold reaction from top executives, including Lay, after the LJM partnerships had come under media and regulatory scrutiny.

April 26
"I was trying to reconnect with Vince, to talk to him about some issues I wanted to talk to him about." Lay on how he tried, through a friend, to get in touch with Kaminski just nine days before Kaminski testified against him for the prosecution.

March 15
"Accounting just doesn't get that creative." Sherron Watkins, a former Enron finance executive who famously tried in vain to warn Lay of impending doom.

April 10
"I am absolutely innocent." Skilling.

"I know of no reason Enron would have to resort to fraud." Skilling on his insistence that bad publicity combined with lost market confidence sank Enron rather than fraud that was no longer sustainable as prosecutors contend.

April 24
"I'm sure there's absolutely nothing in my life, including the loss of life of many of my loved ones, that even comes close to the same level of pain, and the same enduring pain, that has caused." Lay on Enron's failure.

March 22
"Bankruptcy is inevitable." Former Enron treasurer Ben Glisan Jr., quoting what he said he told Lay a day before Lay assured employees in October 2001 that the company was solid despite increasing scrutiny and its spiraling stock price.

March 22
I've never heard so many lies in one day in my whole life." Lay to reporters during an break in Glisan's testimony.

Feb. 21
"He was using Enron like a damn ATM machine." Former Enron corporate secretary Paula Rieker, quoting an Enron director from February 2002 when the board learned that Lay had borrowed more than $70 million from Enron throughout 2001 to repay personal loans.

April 27
"I found it more convenient to use the line of credit. It was set up to provide me, and other senior executives, with more financial flexibility." Lay on why he borrowed more than $70 million from Enron throughout 2001 rather than seek other sources of cash. He repaid the company loans with Enron stock.

April 27
"I was fully complying with all the existing regulations and requirements on my stock transactions." Lay, explaining why he didn't tell employees about his stock sales back to the company when he disclosed in September 2001 that he had bought Enron stock and encouraged workers to do the same.

May 1
"It was difficult to turn off that lifestyle like a spigot." Lay on why he didn't cut back on his extravagant personal spending so he would borrow less from Enron.

"The corpse is on the gurney now, Mr. Hueston, and you're carving it up any way you want to carve it up." Lay accusing prosecutor John Hueston of highlighting only warnings Lay received about accounting integrity while ignoring positive information he received about Enron's health in the weeks before the company imploded.