Once they thought of themselves as the smartest guys in the room when they ran Houston-based energy giant Enron, but now "the two major players are the guiltiest guys in the room," Jim Cramer told his
"RealMoney" radio show listeners Thursday.
He was, of course, referring to Thursday's news that Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling were convicted of fraud and conspiracy by a jury in Houston.
"For those of you who invested in
," Cramer said, "you've got some payback."
Cramer reminded listeners that the guilty two destroyed what was once the nation's seventh-largest company. "Skilling and Lay concocted a special conspiracy," he said. The twosome conducted "a multi-year conspiracy to confuse and bamboozle you out of you savings."
Even though they claimed otherwise, Enron's business was not any better than common utility companies, said Cramer.
"In America you have to play by the rules," he said. "The verdict serves as a reminder to the next generation of CEOs that crime doesn't pay."
Cramer said that during one edition of CNBC's "Squawk Box" he criticized Enron, saying that its earnings were mainly based on its then-recent rigging of the California electricity market. Cramer was then banned, and didn't receive an invitation to go back on the show until he revealed that he was working with prosecutors to help nail the diabolic duo.
"Now they are going to pay, he said. "In my 25 years in the business these are the biggest crooks ever."
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James J. Cramer is a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. He contributes daily market commentary for TheStreet.com's sites and serves as an adviser to the company's CEO. Outside contributing columnists for TheStreet.com and RealMoney.com, including Cramer, may, from time to time, write about stocks in which they have a position. In such cases, appropriate disclosure is made. To see his personal portfolio and find out what trades Cramer will make before he makes them, sign up for
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