May 25, 2006 5:44 pm

Timeline: The Enron trial

1985 Enron founded by Kenneth Lay

February 2001 Lay retires as chief executive, replaced by Jeffrey Skilling

August 14 Skilling resigns after six months. Lay returns

October 16 Enron reports $618m third-quarter loss and $1.2bn reduction in shareholder equity

October 17 Securities and Exchange Commission begins informal probe

October 24 Enron ousts Andrew Fastow, chief financial officer

October 31 Enron reveals SEC probe upgraded to a formal investigation

November 8 The company starts negotiations to sell itself to Dynegy, a smaller rival, to head off bankruptcy

November 9 Dynegy agrees to buy Enron for $8bn in stock and cash

November 29 Dynegy withdraws from deal

December 2 Enron files for bankruptcy

January 23 2002 Lay resigns as chief executive

January 25 Clifford Baxter, former Enron vice-chairman, found dead in an apparent suicide

January 30 Stephen Cooper, a turnround guru, takes over as Enron chief executive

February 4 An investigative report by the board implicates Lay in Enron’s collapse. He resigns from the board

February 8 Fastow invokes the Fifth Amendment right to refuse to testify before Congressional panel. Skilling testifies

February 12 Lay also invokes the Fifth and refuses to testify

February 14 Sherron Watkins, Enron “whistleblower,” testifies before a Congressional panel against Skilling and Fastow

June 16 Arthur Andersen, Enron’s auditor, convicted of obstructing justice by shredding Enron documents. Conviction later overturned by Supreme Court

August 21 Michael Kopper becomes first Enron former executive to be convicted

October 2 Fastow charged over Enron’s collapse

November 7 Fastow pleads not guilty

May 1 2003 Fastow’s wife, Lea, indicted for filing false income tax returns

September 10 Ben Glisan, Enron’s former treasurer, pleads guilty to crimes at Enron and becomes the first Enron executive to go to jail

January 13 2004 Fastows reaches plea agreement with prosecutors

February 20 Skilling charged over Enron‘s collapse, pleads not guilty

May 6 Lea Fastow sentenced to one year’s imprisonment

July 8 Lay charged in Enron’s collapse, pleads not guilty

January 30 2006 Trial of Lay and Skilling begins

May 17 Jury retires

May 25 Lay found guilty on all six counts he faced. Skilling found guilty on 18 out of 28 counts

Jul 5 Ken Lay dies early in the morning of an apparent heart attack in Colorado. He was 64

October 23 Skilling sentenced to 24 years and four months in prison for orchestrating the fraud and conspiracy that destroyed the giant energy trade

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