The prosecution pleaded with the jury about to deliberate the Enron Corp. fraud case not to buy the “cover story” of former CEO Jeffrey Skilling and former Chairman Kenneth Lay that there was no wrongdoing at the company and its demise was caused by short sellers, the media and a run on the bank.

“Lay and Skilling said there was no fraud at Enron, that losses weren’t losses, that stock sales weren’t stock sales, that conversations were innocent misunderstandings,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn Ruemmler said in her closing argument. “That is just absurd, that’s flatly absurd. You can’t stretch the truth that far.”

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