[JURIST] Linda Lay, widow of former Enron chairman Ken Lay [defense website; Houston Chronicle profile], formally rejected a US government claim to his assets in court papers filed Friday. In an answer to the government's civil suit [JURIST report] against the Enron founder's estate, Linda Lay maintained her husband did not commit any crimes and that none of the $12.7 million the government is seeking arose from any criminal activity. The Houston Chronicle has more.
The Justice Department originally brought the civil suit in October 2006. Earlier that month, a federal judge vacated [JURIST report; text, PDF] Lay's criminal convictions on fraud and conspiracy charges [indictment, PDF] because Lay died suddenly [JURIST report] of a heart attack in July while his appeal was pending. The judge's decision meant the government could not seize Lay's assets unless it filed a civil suit. The assets being sought by the government include a $2.5 million condo and $10.2 million controlled by an investment firm.