The Enron Trial: A Chronology

Enron is founded by Ken Lay after merging Houston Natural Gas and InterNorth.
August 1, 1990
Jeffrey Skilling assumes job as chairman and chief executive of Enron Finance.
December 3, 1990
Andy Fastow is hired by Skilling for a position in Enron's new finance business
January 30, 1992
The SEC allows Enron to use mark-to market accounting instead of traditional, accrual accounting.  The new accounting system allows Enron to begin reporting fast-growing profits.
Enron becomes the largest seller of natural gas in North America. 
Chief Financial Officer Andy Fastow forms two limited partnerships, LJM Cayman and LJM2 for the purpose of buying Enron's poorly assets. Fastow receives an exemption from conflict-of-interest rules by the Board of Directors, thus allowing him to manage the companies.
July 2000
Enron and Blockbuster enter into a 20-year agreement to stream on-demand video entertainment.  Enron claims $110 million in profits from the deal, even though the network would fail and Blockbuster withdraws from the contract.
August 23, 2000
Enron stock its an all-time price high of $90 a share.
September 6, 2000
Andy Fastow and CAO Richard Causey meet to discuss the "Global Galactic" agreement that protects Fastow from losses in the side deals he has made for Enron with LJM.
December 31, 2000
Enron finishes the tear with its stock price up 87% to $83.13, 70 times earnings.  Fortune magazine calls it the most innovative large company in the United States.
March 5, 2001
Bethany McLean publishes an article Is Enron Overpriced? in Fortune magazine.  She writes that investors are generally clueless as to how Enron earns its reported profits.
April 17, 2001
Skilling verbally attacks an analyst who questions Enron's failure to release a balance sheet along with its earnings statements, calling the an "asshole."
August 14, 2001
Skilling resigns as CEO of Enron.  Lay re-assumes the job as CEO.
August 15, 2001
Vice president for development at Enron, Sherron Watkins, sends an anonymous letter to Lay criticizing the company's accounting practices.  In the letter she says she is worried Enron "will implode in a wave of accounting scandals."
August 22, 2001
Watkins meets with Lay and gives him a 6-page letter detailing problems with Enron's accounting practices.   Lay promises to take her concerns to the company's law firm, Vinson & Ellis.
September 9, 2001
A manager of an important hedge fund says "Enron stock is trading under a cloud" as its stock price continues to fall.
October 16, 2001
Enron announces that it will have to restate its earnings from 1997 to 2000 to correct accounting violations.
October 22, 2001
The Enron Board learns that Fastow received $30 million (more, actually) from managing LJM partnerships.  Enron's stock drops 20% in a day after the SEC announces that it will investigate several Enron deals.
October 24, 2001 Enron fires Andy Fastow.
October 30, 2001
Credit rating agencies lower Enron's credit rating.  From August through the end of October, Ken Lay has sold 918,000 shares of Enron while insisting to others the company was in good financial shape.
November 2001
In a desperate effort to save itself from bankruptcy, Enron explores merger or acquisition possibilities with rival Dynegy.
November 28, 2001
Dynegy says it will not acquire Enron.  Enron's credit rating is reduced to junk status. Enron's stock price falls to $0.61.
December 2, 2001
Enron seeks Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
December 2001 Skilling tells the New York Times , "I had no idea that the company was in anything but excellent shape."
January 23, 2002
Ken lay resigns as Enron's chairman and CEO.
February 7, 2002
Skilling testifies before about the Enron collapse before a congressional committee; Fastow invokes his 5th Amendment protection and refuses to testify.
June 15, 2002
Enron's auditing firm, Arthur Andersen, is convicted of obstruction of justice in connection with its shredding of Enron documents.
July 30, 2002
President George W. Bush signs the Sarbanes-Oxley Act imposing new accounting and reporting obligations on American businesses.
August 31, 2002
Enron accounting firm Arthur Andersen surrenders its CPA license and its 85,000 employees lose their jobs.
October 31, 2002
Andy Fastow is indicted on 78 counts of fraudulent conduct.
May 1, 2003
Lea Fastow, the wife of Andy Fastow, is charged with conspiracy and tax evasion.
January 14, 2004
Andy Fastow enters into a plea agreement and promises to cooperate in the prosecution of other Enron executives.
February 18, 2004
A grand jury in Houston indicts Jeff Skilling on 35 counts, including charges of fraud, insider trading, and conspiracy.
July 7, 2004
A grand jury indicts Ken Lay on 11 counts, including charges of wire fraud, securities fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy.  The next day, Lay surrenders to the FBI.
December 28, 2005
Richard Causey enters into a plea bargain agreement with the government.
January 30, 2006
Jury selection begins in the trial of Lay and Skilling.
May 17, 2006
The jury begins deliberation in the trial of Lay and Skilling.
May 25, 2006
The jury convicts Skilling of 19 of 28 counts of wire fraud and securities fraud.  Lay is convicted on all six counts of fraud.
July 5, 2006
While staying in a cabin outside Aspen, Colorado with his wife, Ken Lay suffers a heart attack and dies.
September 26, 2006
Andy Fatow is sentenced to six years in prison.
October 23, 2006
Judge Lakes sentences Skilling to 24 years in prison and sets a fine of $45 million.
December 13, 2006
Jeff Skilling begins serving his sentence in a low-security prison in Waseca, Minnesota.
December 16, 2011
Andy Fastow is released from prison.
June 21, 2013
Judge Lake reduces Skilling's sentence to 14 years (and, with good-time credits, he could be released by 2017).

Enron (Lay/Skilling) Trial Homepage