Houston (July 9, 2004) -- Nearly three years after the collapse of the firm he founded, former Enron Corp. chief executive and chairman Kenneth Lay pleaded not guilty to federal charges that he was involved in a wide-ranging scheme to deceive the public, company shareholders and government regulators about the company's true financial performance, according to published reports.

A 65-page federal indictment unsealed Thursday charges that Lay, former CEO Jeffrey Skilling and former chief accounting officer Richard Causey manipulated Enron's publicly reported financial results, made false and misleading public statements and representations about the company's financial performance, and "omitted to disclose facts necessary to make those statements and representations fair and accurate."

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