Thursday, November 15, 2007

Forfeiture Case Against Lay's Assets Moves Forward

The government's civil asset forfeiture complaint against assets owned by the late Enron CEO Ken Lay moved a small step forward when U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein denied a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss filed by Linda Lay, the administrator of Lay's estate.  The case -- with the wonderful caption used in asset forfeiture cases of U.S. v. 2121 Kirby Drive (available below) -- was filed after Lay's death wiped out his criminal conviction and required the government to pursue civil asset forfeiture rather than the much easier criminal forfeiture route.  The government is seeking to forfeit a bank account with $22,000, $10.1 million from an investment partnership, and a condo in Houston worth $2.5 million.  Under the relatively low threshold for surviving a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim, Judge Werlein found that the government's 26-page complaint and affidavit outlining the basis for tracing the proceeds from the Enron fraud was sufficient to allow the case to move forward.  Surviving the motion to dismiss may impel the parties to resolve the case through a settlement rather than litigate it further with the expense of discovery looming, but it's entirely possible Mrs. Lay will continue the fight. (ph)

Download us_v_2121_kirby_drive_opinion_nov_13_2007.pdf

Enron, Judicial Opinions | Permalink

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