Corporations and securities brief ~ Lay, Skilling to be tried together

In Wednesday's corporations and securities law news, US District Judge Sim Lake ordered former Enron chairman Ken Lay be tried with former executives Jeffrey Skilling and Richard Causey on charges linked to the energy giant's collapse. The judge denied requests by the ex-Enron executives to be tried separately on the Enron-related charges. However, Judge Lake did rule that Lay's four criminal charges relating to his personal banking activities will be tried separately which will force Lay to be a defendant in two trials. The trial date for either trial has not been set. Read the indictment against Lay, Skilling, and Causey here [PDF]. Read the SEC indictment against the three executives here [PDF]. Read Ken Lay's response to the charges here. JURIST's Paper Chase has ongoing coverage of the Enron trials. The Houston Chronicle has more and more coverage of the Enron collapse.

In other news, KMPG will settle with the SEC over charges of improper conduct in the firm's audit of Gemstar-TV Guide Internation's financial statments. KMPG will pay $10 million, the largest payment ever by an accounting firm. Read the SEC press release here. AP has more.... The SEC will hear proposals on liberalizing the "quiet period" rules which is what companies can say before its initial public offering. Reuters has more.... Citigroup announced the removal of three of its most senior executives in a response to the company's regulatory problems in Japan. The Financial Times has more.... Dutch financial services group ING announced New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has asked the group to provide information related to his investigation into the fees paid by some US insurers to brokers for new business. Read the ING press release announcing the request here. Reuters has more.

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