Kenneth Lay

Former Enron Corp. chairman Kenneth Lay is often considered to be the modern embodiment of corporate wrongdoing for his role in his energy trading company's spectacular collapse. Government regulators began investigating Houston-based Enron's books in 2001, suspecting that Lay and fellow executive Jeffery Skilling were hiding losses and doctoring statements to conceal the company's dire financial straits. In the space of a year, Enron's stock price tanked and investors lost billions. The company, once seen as a titan of its industry, tumbled into the biggest bankruptcy filing at the time. Lay resigned in 2002 and was found guilty of 10 charges of conspiracy, fraud and more in 2006. But before he could be sentenced, Lay died of a massive heart attack while vacationing in Colorado. Skilling is now serving out a prison term.
Michael Stravato / AP Photo
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