1985 Enron is formed by the merger of Houston Natural Gas and InterNorth and is headquartered in Houston.

2000

August

  • Enron shares reach a high of $90.

    December

  • Enron, then the seventh-largest U.S. company by market capitalization, names president Jeffrey Skilling to succeed Kenneth Lay as CEO.

    2001

    August

  • Skilling resigns as CEO after only six months. Lay is reappointed to the top position.

    October

  • Enron's results turn dismal. The company announces a third-quarter loss and a $1.2 billion reduction in shareholder equity.

  • The Wall Street Journal publishes articles about partnerships known as "LJM," run by CFO Andrew Fastow, which are tied to Enron's financial woes. The SEC begins to investigate Enron's books, and Fastow is soon ousted.

    November

  • Enron revises its financial statements for the past five years and accounts $586 million in losses. By the end of the month, Standard & Poor's and Moody's Investors Service downgrade Enron's bonds to junk.

    December

  • Enron files for bankruptcy.

    2002

    January

  • The Justice Department begins a criminal investigation of Enron.

  • Arthur Andersen, Enron's auditor, says the company destroyed important documents related to Enron's accounting.

  • Lay resigns as CEO.

    February

  • Fastow and Lay invoke their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination when they appear before Congress. Skilling chooses to testify before the same panel.

    March

  • Arthur Andersen is indicted for destroying documents.

    June

  • Andersen is convicted of obstruction.

    October

  • Andersen is fined $500,000. The company has already been prohibited from auditing public companies.

  • Fastow is indicted on 78 charges of myriad of crimes, including money laundering, fraud and conspiracy.

    2003

    March

  • Enron says that it will emerge from bankruptcy as two separate companies.

  • Four former Merrill Lynch executives are charged by the SEC with aiding and abetting Enron's fraud.

    May

  • Charges against Fastow increase to 98, and his wife, Lea, is brought into the case for tax crimes and conspiracy. Other executives, including Ben Glisan and Dan Boyle, are charged with lying to investors about Enron's financial status.

    July

  • Enron files a plan for its reorganization, which states that creditors will get a sliver of the $67 billion they are owed.

  • A court-appointed examiner concludes that six Wall Street firms, including Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Merrill Lynch and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, "aided and abetted" Enron in some of its dubious accounting schemes.

    September

  • Former Enron treasurer Ben Glisan is sentenced to five years in prison after cutting a deal with prosecutors in which he admitted to a role in doctoring the fallen energy merchant's books.

    2004

    January

  • Enron's bankruptcy plans receive approval from a New York judge and are passed to creditors for approval.

  • Fastow pleads guilty to two counts of fraud and faces 10 years in prison. He also forfeits almost $24 million in assets. His wife pleads guilty to one count.

    February

  • Skilling surrenders to federal authorities in Houston and is charged with 42 counts of fraud and other crimes. He pleads innocent and is released on $5 million bond.

    July

  • Lay turns himself in to authorities in Houston, but pleads innocent to conspiracy and a number of other crimes related to Enron's demise.

    August 2004

  • Former Enron trader John Forney pleads guilty to manipulating energy prices.

  • Enron Broadband COO Kevin Hannon pleads guilty to one count of conspiracy.

    September

  • Trial of the four former Merrill Lynch executives begins.

    October

  • Former Enron assistant treasurer Timothy Despain pleads guilty to conspiracy.

  • A judge allows Lay a trial separate from Skilling and Causey for the bank fraud charges, but says the three will be tried together for other charges.

  • Lehman Brothers agrees to pay $225 million to Enron shareholders to settle allegations arising from the company's insolvency.

    November

  • Four former Merrill Lynch executives are convicted.

    2005

    February

  • Skilling and Causey trial scheduled for Jan. 17, 2006.

    April

  • Enron Broadband trial begins.

    May

  • Supreme Court overturns the Andersen conviction.

    June

  • Citigroup and JPMorgan agree to pay a total of $4.2 billion to settle Enron litigation related to a class-action suit from defrauded investors.

    August

  • CIBC agrees to pay $2.4 billion in a class-action settlement related to Enron charges.

    December

  • Causey pleads guilty to securities fraud. He agrees to serve seven years in exchange for cooperating with the government.

    2006

    January

  • Lay, Skilling trial begins.

    May

  • Jurors convict Lay and Skilling of securities fraud and conspiracy.

    July

  • Lay dies.

    September

  • Fastow is sentenced to a reduced six-year term as a result of his cooperation with prosecutors.

    October

  • Lay's conviction is vacated because he died before his appeal was heard.

  • Skilling is sentenced to 24 years in jail.