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Timeline of Enron's Collapse

Thursday, September 30, 2004; 11:23 AM

2004

Sept. 21: The first criminal trial involving former Enron Corp. executives opens with prosecutors charging that the defendants conspired with Wall Street bankers to carry out a sham transaction.

Sept. 10: Prosecutors argue in court papers that former Enron Corp. chief executives Jeffrey K. Skilling and Kenneth L. Lay should stand trial together because they engaged in a "single overarching conspiracy" to enrich themselves by inflating the company's stock price.

_____The Fall of Enron_____
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Sept. 1: A federal judge in Houston agrees to postpone for five months the criminal trial of several former executives in Enron Corp.'s Internet division.

Aug. 31: The chief operating officer of Enron Corp.'s failed Internet unit pleads guilty to a single criminal conspiracy charge and agrees to cooperate with the government.

Aug. 25: Enron Corp.'s former investor relations chief pleads guilty to one count of aiding and abetting securities fraud and agrees to help prosecutors with their ongoing probe.

Aug. 20: Lawyers for former Enron Corp. executives Jeffrey K. Skilling and Richard A. Causey ask a judge to separate their clients' trials from the case against Kenneth L. Lay, the company's onetime chairman.

Aug. 11: Lawyers for former Enron Corp. chief Kenneth L. Lay urge a federal judge to cut him loose from a broader fraud case and send him to trial alone within weeks, but the judge deflects Lay's request for a trial to start Sept. 14.

July 30: Kenneth D. Rice, former chief executive of Enron Corp.'s Internet broadband unit, pleads guilty to securities fraud and agrees to cooperate with prosecutors.

July 22: Federal regulators order Enron Corp. to repay $32.5 million in energy-trading profits made before and during the West Coast electricity crisis three years ago.

July 15: A federal judge approves Enron Corp.'s bankruptcy plan, under which it would sell most of its prized assets to repay creditors about 20 cents on the dollar in cash and stock.

July 8: Former Enron chief executive Kenneth L. Lay surrenders to federal agents, pleading not guilty to criminal charges. The government unseals 11 criminal charges against Lay of conspiracy, fraud and making false statements.

May 6: Lea Fastow is sentenced to one year in prison.

April 29: Lea Fastow reaches a new plea deal with prosecutors.

April 7: Lea Fastow, wife Enron's onetime finance chief, withdraws guilty plea after a judge refused a deal that called for her to serve five months in prison.

Feb. 20: Jeffrey K. Skilling, Enron's former chief executive officer, surrenders to authorities to face nearly three dozen fraud, conspiracy and insider trading charges related to the company's collapse.

Jan. 23: Former Enron chief accountant surrenders to authorities to face federal criminal charges that he served as an "architect" of a wide-ranging scheme to manipulate the company's earnings and improperly boost its stock price.

Jan. 13: Former Enron chief financial officer Andrew Fastow and his wife, Lea Fastow plead guilty to charges related to accounting fraud. Andrew Fastow is the highest ranking Enron executive to admit to wrongdoing. The guilty pleas will help prosecutors in the ongoing investigation against other top executives.

2003

Nov. 8: Lawyers for former Enron chairman Kenneth L. Lay agree to turn over documents sought by the Securities and Exchange Commission, averting a courtroom fight.

Oct. 10: Former Enron senior accountant Wesley H. Colwell agrees to pay a $500,000 fine to settle government charges that he and other executives fraudulently manipulated the company's earnings, shifting energy-trading profits in California and other states to hide more than $1 billion in losses in 2000 and 2001.

Sept. 10: Former Enron treasurer Ben F. Glisan Jr. pleads guilty to conspiracy to commit securities fraud, becoming the first executive at the scandal-ridden firm to go to prison. Glisan also will forfeit $1.3 million in profits and penalties from a transaction that allegedly swindled his own company.

July 29: JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup agree to pay for their roles in Enron's manipulation of its financial statements.


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