‘Enron accounts never misstated’

The legal team defending former Enron CEOs Jeff Skilling and Ken Lay has used
accounting experts to argue that the collapsed energy company never falsified
its books.

Prosecutors claim that Enron overvalued its assets and used improper cash
reserves to smooth out earnings

Testifying in Houston, Walter Rush, who formerly worked for the US Securities
and Exchange Commission as well as top accounting firms, said he believed the
company never improperly set extra cash reserves.

Jerry Arnold, a University of Southern California professor, who acknowledged
his firm had been paid $1m (£540,000) to examine the books by Lay’s defence
team, also countered allegations that Enron overvalued the value of its books.

Lay ended his testimony yesterday claiming he did nothing wrong and said
he left the company believing it was in a healthy financial state.

Lay, 64, and Skilling, 52, are charged with lying to investors to cover up
the deteriorating finances of the company and face multiple fraud charges.

Both deny the charges.

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