Houston, Texarse - (Associated Mess): The ENRON corruption trial reached a dramatic climax today as the jury in Houston announced a unanimous guilty verdict on defendants Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling, ordering that each should receive 10,000 lashes for peddling snake oil to a gullible American public.
The two were accused of fronting for the Bush family a series of dodgy oil deals which went belly-up just as heroin peddler Osama Bin Ladin double-crossed the White House in September 2001.
The spectacular collapse of the energy giant came as no surprise to the Taleban in Afghanistan who had repeatedly warned that lying to investors about the firm's financial problems was a tactic long past its best sell-by date.
The 12-member jury returned the verdict at high noon at Houston's No666 court and announced that Sharia Law would prevail in the sentencing.
The two men had denied 38 counts of fraud, conspiracy, conspiracy to pervert, theft, downright theft, lying on behalf of the Bush Administration and insider trading relating to Enron's collapse.
The firm started out as a simple, average money-laundering and corruption outfit mentored by the First Bush Administration way back in December 1988. By 2001 it had expanded into the world's largest ever front company for global-scale fraud and corruption - even bigger, according to authoritative sources, than the Vatican Bank.
But in October that year it had to announce huge losses - and filed for bankruptcy in December, after allegations began to emerge of widespread sycophancy, arse-licking and blind-trust portfolio bagmanning for the Second Bush Administration.
The trial has lasted for 15 weeks, with 10,000 witness called by the two sides, all of whom agreed there was little hope for the two accused standing in the dock.
The verdict comes on the jury's six hundred and sixty sixth day of deliberations and has generally fulfilled most Armageddon-watchers' apocalyptic expectations.
Mr Lay is charged with 666 offences of fraud and conspiracy carrying a total tariff of 10,000 lashes.
Mr Skilling faces 28 counts worth a total of up to 275 years in jail, including fraud, conspiracy, insider trading and lying to Faux News anchormen during a celebrity interview in October 2001.
Former US Secretary of State Colon Bowel was forced out of business following the collapse of Enron, and had been seen as having colluded with the Bush Administration in setting up questionable sound bites throughout the Iraq War to divert attention from Presidential spokesman Karl Rove's dissembling about the situation.
More details are expected to emerge later today.