Updated from July 7

Kenneth Lay, the indicted former chairman of Enron, turned himself into authorities in Houston Thursday, capping more than two years of prosecutorial pursuit in America's most notorious corporate collapse.

Lay, Enron's well-connected architect whose aloof manner infuriated investors as the energy trader sank into insolvency, was handcuffed and taken by FBI agents to a federal courthouse, where he is expected to be arraigned on criminal charges including insider trading.

According to a source, the charges will be similar to those filed in February against Jeffery Skilling, Enron's former chief executive, who was indicted on securities fraud and insider trading charges. The Securities and Exchange Commission also is expected to file civil charges against Lay along with the criminal charges being brought by the Justice Department's Enron Task Force.

Michael Ramsey, Lay's lawyer, could not be reached for comment.

The indictment of Lay marks the final step in a march up the corporate ladder that began in August 2003 with a guilty plea from Michael Kopper to money-laundering and conspiracy charges. Kopper was the right-hand man to Andrew Fastow, the former Enron chief financial officer, who masterminded the off balance sheet accounting tricks used to inflate earnings and hide its assets.

The indictment is also a rebuke to critics who said prosecutors would never touch Lay, who refused to testify when called before Congress shortly after Enron filed for bankruptcy in December 2001. Lay asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and has said little since. He claims to be innocent of criminal wrongdoing in the storied collapse.

Lay's armor cracked earlier this year when prosecutors reached a plea agreement with Fastow. That led to the indictment of Richard Causey, Enron's former chief accounting officer. Soon after, Skilling was added as a defendant in a superseding indictment. Both Causey and Skilling have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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