The widow of Enron Corp. founder Kenneth Lay stated in a court filing in Houston Friday that her husband never committed any crimes, and she is entitled to keep all of the property and money that the government is seeking from his estate.

The filing by Linda Lay is in response to a court ruling in mid-November that allowed the federal government to proceed in its attempt to seize about $13 million in cash and assets from Kenneth Lay’s estate (see Daily GPI, Nov. 19). Lay died in July 2006, and his convictions were thrown out under a legal doctrine that dictates that when a defendant dies before he has a chance to appeal, the conviction is extinguished (see Daily GPI, Oct. 18, 2006).

The Justice Department is attempting to seize the Lay’s condominium in Houston, which is appraised at about $6 million, as well as $10 million in a partnership and $22,000 in a bank account.

In the six-page filing by defense attorney David R. Jones (United States vs. 2121 Kirby Drive, Unit 33, Houston, TX, et al, No. H-06-3335), Linda Lay denied “any criminal activity on the part of Kenneth L. Lay, including his alleged participation in securities fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy or money laundering.” As the “innocent owner” of the property, she also denied that the property the government wants to seize was “involved in the alleged money laundering or that any of the defendant properties were acquired with the proceeds of the alleged criminal conduct…”

As to the other allegations by the government, the filing noted that “they are either legal conclusions or claimant lacks knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to their truth…” Linda Lay requested that all of the “restraints” on the property be removed, and she asked the court to award her all of the costs to defend the lawsuit, including attorney fees.

The prosecution and the Lay estate are requesting a jury trial, but no date has been set.

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