The process to eliminate Ken Lay's criminal record has begun.
Samuel Buffone, a Washington, D.C., attorney who was expected to represent Lay in his appeals, filed a motion Wednesday asking District Court Judge Sim Lake to substitute Lay's estate for the late defendant so the lawyer can appear in court on Lay's behalf.
Buffone said in the motion that once the court recognizes him as the attorney for the estate, he will "move to vacate the convictions of Mr. Lay and dismiss the indictment."
Lay died on July 5, in Aspen, Colo., of heart disease. Although he was convicted, a final judgment wasn't issued because he had not yet been sentenced and through the appeals process. Rather than allow an appeal to proceed without him, the court is widely expected to throw out both the verdict and indictment, leaving Lay's record as though he were never charged.
Lay's $5 million bond - backed by his children's homes - also would be canceled at that time. With his conviction vacated, the government also will not be able to seize Lay's property through the criminal proceedings.