SEC wants court to force Lay to turn over documents

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

WASHINGTON -- The Securities and Exchange Commission asked a federal judge on Monday to force Kenneth L. Lay, the former head of Enron Corp., to turn over documents the agency is seeking in its investigation of the business practices that led to one of the largest corporate bankruptcy filings in U.S. history.

The SEC said it had filed the request with the U.S. District Court in Washington, arguing that Lay was wrong to contend that turning over the documents would violate his constitutional rights against self-incrimination.

"The documents being withheld by Lay appear to be corporate records, which Lay may not withhold from production based on any personal rights he may have under the Fifth Amendment," the SEC said in a statement announcing its action.

Enron spiraled into bankruptcy in late 2001, part of a wave of corporate accounting scandals that engulfed not only the Houston-based energy trading company but such other big corporate names as WorldCom, Global Crossing and Adelphia Communications.

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