Skilling ends testimony in Enron trial

April 20, 2006 at 7:47 PM

HOUSTON, April 20 (UPI) -- Jeffrey Skilling wrapped up his testimony in a Houston courtroom Thursday, telling reporters afterwards he has had a "tough six years" since Enron collapsed.

The company's former chief executive officer was followed on the stand by a number of witnesses, the Houston Chronicle reported -- including his ex-wife, who denied that she and her current husband sold $14 million in Enron stock on Skilling's advice just before the price plummeted. A former Houston fire chief told jurors Skilling's advice as a consultant was valuable.

Other witnesses paved the way for Enron co-founder Ken Lay, who is scheduled to begin his testimony on Monday, the newspaper said.

Skilling faces 28 counts of fraud and conspiracy, and Lay faces six counts, for their part in the Enron collapse.

In a cross-examination that began Monday, assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Berkowitz quizzed Skilling about his denial of any knowledge of fraudulent accounting at Enron. Lay and Skilling blame the company's troubles on a cabal of employees headed by former Chief Financial Officer Andy Fastow, who pleaded guilty and testified for the prosecution.

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