Judge wants to talk about Lay trial date

April 6, 2005 at 8:55 PM
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HOUSTON, April 6 (UPI) -- A Houston judge Wednesday ordered lawyers to court next week to discuss the trial date on personal banking charges against former Enron chairman Ken Lay.

U.S. District Judge Sim Lake scheduled the meeting for April 15 after prosecutors earlier this week requested Lay be tried on the charges during summer, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Lawyers and court personnel said the order was a clear indication the judge is thinking of quickly moving to trial on the charges, the newspaper said.

Lay is facing two sets of criminal charges. The Enron charges against Lay and two other ex-Enron officials are scheduled for trial next January.

But Lay also faces the banking cases alleging he lied about how he intended to use $75 million in personal loans. Prosecutors now want to try him on those charges in May or June.

Lay faces longer prison terms on the four banking charges, if he is convicted. They carry 30-year penalties, compared with 5-year maximums on the Enron-related counts.

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