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Greed in Corporate America: Martha Stewart & Ken Lay

This is a partial transcript from The O'Reilly Factor, June 18, 2002. Click here to order the complete transcript.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: The Impact segment tonight, greed in corporate America. Martha Stewart under suspicion for insider trading after she dumped thousands of ImClone shares day before that stock tanked last December.

Miss Stewart is a close friend of ImClone's CEO, Samuel Waksal, who is charged with securities fraud. She denies any wrongdoing.

On top of that, it was reported today that former Enron CEO Kenneth Lay took more than $100 million from the bankrupt company in the last months before it collapsed.

With us now, Fox News Senior Business Correspondent and host of Cashin' In, Terry Keenan.

So "Cashin' In," Martha Stewart, she didn't do anything wrong, it was just luck, just luck that she sold thousands of shares the day before they tanked. Just luck.

TERRY KEENAN, FOX SENIOR BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Well, we don't know for sure, she's not really talking...

O'REILLY: Ahh.

KEENAN: ... her broker, her hunky broker seems to be in London enjoying the social scene there, at least that's the report out of Manhattan. But the question is, why isn't she talking? She's a CEO of a publicly traded company that's lost about $200 million in market value since this thing broke last week.

O'REILLY: Yes.

KEENAN: She's on the board of Revlon, she's on the board of the New York Stock Exchange. Nobody's investigating. Her own company...

O'REILLY: What do you mean, nobody's investigating?

KEENAN: ... hasn't launched an investigation.

O'REILLY: Why isn't the SEC investigating?

KEENAN: Well, the SEC probably is looking into it, and we know that the House subcommittee is looking into it, and they're going to try to talk to this broker, they're talking to Martha.

But why isn't her own company launching an independent investigation?

O'REILLY: Oh, because Martha doesn't...

KEENAN: Just for the sake of the show.

O'REILLY: ... want them. Well, look, let's be very kind here and say that Martha Stewart is Miss Cleo, OK? She's a -- she has, you know, like Karnac, she, she has, she's a seer of the future and dumps her shares a day before they tank. Come on, what are the odds of that, 10 million to one?

KEENAN: They're not too high. And of course there are some phone calls that came when Martha had a stopover in —on her private plane...

O'REILLY: So you know that there were...

KEENAN: ... on the way to Mexico.

O'REILLY: ... phone calls between Waksal, the weasel CEO of ImClone, who's now under indictment, and her.

KEENAN: We know she tried to call him just about the same time her shares were being...

O'REILLY: Vanished.

KEENAN: ... unloaded...

O'REILLY: Right, yes.

KEENAN: ... on the Nasdaq...

O'REILLY: All right, now, look, the odds of a big celebrity like Martha Stewart being put in cuffs are great, right, because the powerful protect themselves, correct?

KEENAN: Yes, I mean, I think that she probably will not go to jail even if she's, if she's held culpable. Maybe she'll cut some deal. But people are going to start to go to jail. And that's good, that's the good news, because nobody...

O'REILLY: Kenneth Lay going to go to jail?

KEENAN: ... going to jail (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

O'REILLY: A hundred million bucks, and then at the same time telling everybody to buy his stock?

KEENAN: He may, he's -- you know, he has this routine right now that all this was happening and he really wasn't paying attention...

O'REILLY: He didn't know anything about it.

KEENAN: ... he was the marketing, right, he was the...

O'REILLY: Right, he didn't know anything about it.

KEENAN: ... marketing guy, but...

O'REILLY: But you're not buying that, are you?

KEENAN: It's pretty hard to believe. And, you know, these guys have so enriched themselves. I mean, not only have they been getting all these options, they've been taking out loans from the companies...

O'REILLY: Yes, it's hard.

KEENAN: ... many of them haven't been paying taxes...

O'REILLY: Are the Bush administration and John Ashcroft, the attorney general, aggressive enough? Are they doing it the right way? They got Arthur Andersen just by luck, but they got them. Are they doing it methodically enough, in your opinion? Are they aggressive enough?

KEENAN: I think they are, and I think they're moving pretty quickly. Harvey Pitt's gotten tons of bad press, but he's been launching an investigation nearly every day into these...

O'REILLY: Harvey Pitt is the...

KEENAN: ... proceedings. He's the SEC chairman.

O'REILLY: ... U.S. — OK, he's the SEC chairman. But there's a big squad of U.S. attorneys in Houston, right? So you're expecting Ken Lay and Fastow and all these other devils to get indicted, correct?

KEENAN: Yes, the ducks are lining up in a row here, and Andersen was the first duck to fall, and then here in Manhattan, they've been going after Sam Waksal, the ImClone guy, taken out in handcuffs from his SoHo apartment. We haven't seen that...

O'REILLY: You know, he could cut a deal...

KEENAN: ... in a long time.

O'REILLY: ... he could flip on Martha. Wouldn't that be great, if the cut, you know, knocked 10 years off his sentence, he gives up Martha?

KEENAN: Yes, (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

O'REILLY: Oh, man!

KEENAN: Pretty interesting.

O'REILLY: Doesn't it make you sick? It makes me sick. I mean, that these people -- how greedy is Martha Stewart, you know? A gazillion, and as you pointed out, she's lost so much money now that more than what she made on the ImClone.

KEENAN: Oh, yes, a thousand times more than she would have made...

O'REILLY: Right. But how greedy...

KEENAN: ... on ImClone's stock.

O'REILLY: ... is this woman to do something like that? And she had a personal relationship with this Waksal. They might have been dating or something, right? They were...

KEENAN: Yes, well, he definitely dated her daughter for a couple of years. She even said that he could have been her son-in-law. We don't — it's unclear whether they were dating. But they're very close friends. And here's -- just -- she was buying stock in a company that was a one-product company that supposedly had the cure for cancer, and the CEO...

O'REILLY: And then they didn't.

KEENAN: ... is her best friend.

O'REILLY: Right, and then they didn't. And then she sells one day, as we pointed out.

This Kenneth Lay, do you have any time frame when you think they're going to be indicted and put in cuffs so we can have fun at their expense?

KEENAN: I'm hearing things are really heating up. I would think sometime later this summer. They might want to wait till September to get even more press on it, but...

O'REILLY: Right.

KEENAN: They're going to have to turn, someone's going to...

O'REILLY: It's inevitable, though, right?

KEENAN: ... have to turn, and somebody's going to have to...

O'REILLY: It's inevitable, right?

KEENAN: ... to talk. But it's inevitable.

O'REILLY: OK. Now, is Cavuto upset about it? Is he -- or is he on board here?

KEENAN: He's taking it pretty well. Think he's looking forward to it as you are.

O'REILLY: All right. All right, Terry, thanks very much. We appreciate your coming in. Hey, Martha, you know, hey, if you did it, own up, we'll put you in a little bracelet you can stay home and make whatever you make at home.

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