Ex-Enron Chairman Ken Lay wants to go to trial immediately and alone, possibly without a jury, and he's ponied up some $15 million to get it done, according to court papers filed Monday.
Lay, who faces 11 criminal charges, was indicted along with former Chief Executive Officer Jeff Skilling and former top accountant Rick Causey. As expected for weeks, Lay's Houston lawyer, Mike Ramsey, asked U.S. District Judge Sim Lake on Monday to separate Lay from his alleged co-conspirators and try Lay in mid-September.
The government noted in court papers Monday that Lay has set aside "a formidable war chest, transferring $15 million to a legal defense fund eight weeks before his indictment."
The gigantic sum only seems small in comparison to Skilling's war chest. Charged with 35 counts of insider trading, securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy, Skilling put $23 million in his legal defense fund.
Where did these two guys get $38 million? Could their possession of that kind of stash have anything at all to do with "insider trading, securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy"? Hmmm...
(Reminder: Martha Stewart, as a Democrat and a woman, may go to jail for an insider trade that netted her $224,000. Enron's two CEOs, as Republicans and as men, can afford to put up $38 million for their defense fund alone. God only knows what they've sequestered offshore in Switzerland or the Caymans. They've had three years to do it.)