Timeline of the Enron scandal
November 1, 2000 Enron CEO Kenneth Lay begins selling Enron shares.
January 8, 2001 California governor Gray Davis calls Enron and other energy
companies "out-of-state" profiteers" during the 2000 California energy
January 20, 2001 The inauguration of George W. Bush is attended by Enron CEO
Kenneth Lay and president Jeffrey Skilling, who each make $100,000
contributions for the event.
February 5, 2001 Enron executives get bonus checks for millions of dollars.
Arthur Andersen auditors internally question the LJM partnerships.
February 12, 2001 Skilling is named CEO.
Arthur Andersen tells the Enron board of directors audit committee that they
have no concerns.
February 22, 2001 Lay and other Enron officials go to the White House to
meet with the Dick Cheney energy task force.
March 7, 2001 Lay and other Enron officials meet with the energy task force
of Vice President Dick Cheney.
March 8, 2001 Enron lawyer Jordan Mintz sends a memorandum questioning the
LJM partnerships to Enron chief risk officer Richard Buy and chief
accounting officer Richard Causey.
March 26, 2001 To cover problems in the Raptor partnerships, Enron
repurchases Chewco's investment in JEDI for $35 million, netting Enron
executive Michael Kopper over $10 million.
April 17, 2001 Enron announces a first quarter profit of $536 million.
Lay and other Enron officials meet with Vice President Dick Cheney.
May 5, 2001 Enron's stock price closes below $59.78, a critical point for
one of the partnerships.
May 17, 2001 The energy task force issues its report, which endorses some of
May 18, 2001 Chief executive of Enron Xcelerator Lou Pai sells 1.1 million
Enron shares over the next 21 days.
May 22, 2001 Jordan Mintz sends a memorandum to Jeffrey Skilling for his
sign-off on LJM paperwork.
June 6, 2001 Enron general counsel Jim Derrick sells 160,000 Enron shares
over the next ten days.
June 12, 2001 Skilling jokes about the California energy crisis at a Las
June 21, 2001 Skilling is hit in the face with a pie during a visit to
July 13, 2001 Chief executive of Enron Broadband Services Ken Rice sells
386,000 Enron shares.
July 23, 2001 Enron's stock price closes below $47, a critical point for the
July 27, 2001 Director Robert Belfer sells 100,000 Enron shares.
August 7, 2001 Officials from a German Enron subsidiary meet with the Dick
Cheney energy task force.
August 14, 2001 Citing "personal reasons," Skilling resigns as CEO. Lay
replaces him, stating "Absolutely no accounting issue, no trading issue, no
reserve issue, no previously unknown problem issues" are involved.
August 15, 2001 Sherron Watkins, a vice president for corporate development,
puts a one-page letter in Lay's suggestion box, questioning Enron's
August 16, 2001 Lay discusses Skilling's departure with employees.
August 20, 2001 Watkins phones a former coworker at Arthur Andersen about
Lay exercises 25,000 share options at $20.78 ($519,000 total value); the
stock closes at $36.25. One of Lay's lawyers states later that some of the
stock was used to repay an Enron line of credit.
August 21, 2001 Lay emails employees, stating "one of my highest priorities
is to restore investor confidence in Enron. This should result in a
significantly higher stock price."
He exercises 68,620 share options at $21.56 ($1,479,477 total value); the
stock closes at $36.88. One of Lay's lawyers states later that Lay never
sold the shares, which are now practically worthless.
David B. Duncan, the lead partner on the Enron account for Arthur Andersen,
meets with three other AA officials to discuss the Watkins call. A memo
states they "agreed to consult our firm's legal adviser about what actions
August 22, 2001 Watkins meets with Lay, giving him a seven-page letter
stating that Enron may be an "elaborate accounting hoax," and advises him
not to involve Vinson & Elkins, Enron's law firm, because of potential
conflicts of interest.
V&E is asked if an inquiry is necessary, but told not to bother
"second-guessing the accounting advice and treatment."
September 17, 2001 Jeffrey Skilling sells 500,000 Enron shares.
September 21, 2001 Director Robert Belfer sellss 109,000 Enron shares.
September 26, 2001 Lay tells employees that Enron's accounting practices are
"legal and totally appropriate," that Enron stock is "an incredible
bargain," that he and other executives have bought Enron stock in the last
two months, and that "the third quarter is looking great" in an online
October 9, 2001 Arthur Andersen hires the Davis Polk & Wardwell law firm to
prepare a defense for the company.
October 10, 2001 Enron officials discuss energy policy with staff of Vice
President Dick Cheney.
October 12, 2001 An Arthur Andersen lawyer in Chicago, Nancy Temple, emails
an Andersen partner in Houston, Michael Odom, reminding him of the Andersen
document retention and destruction policy. He forwards the email to a
October 15, 2001 Vinson & Elkins deliver a report which states that Arthur
Andersen approved of Enron's accounting procedures, and that Enron did
October 16, 2001 Enron announces a third quarter loss of $618 million.
October 17, 2001 To correct an accounting error on the Raptor partnerships
devised by CFO Andrew Fastow, Enron's assets (shareholder equity) are
reduced by $1.01 billion.
The Enron 401(k) retirement plan is frozen for administrative changes.
October 22, 2001 Enron announces that Securities and Exchange Commission has
begun an inquiry into Enron's accounting practices with its partnerships.
The Arthur Andersen partner in charge of the Enron account, David B. Duncan
tells the audit managers to comply with the Andersen document retention
policy, and observes them doing so by shredding documents.
October 23, 2001 Lay reassures investors in a conference call, asserting
there was no conflict of interest with the Raptor partnerships and that the
directors on the board "continue to have the highest faith and confidence"
David B. Duncan organizes a meeting of the Enron account group to speed up
the document destruction, according to testimony by Arthur Andersen managing
director Dorsey Lee Baskin Jr..
October 24, 2001 Andrew Fastow is forced to leave Enron.
October 25, 2001 Enron sends an email to all employees and to Arthur
Andersen stating that all pertinent documents should be preserved.
October 26, 2001 Lay makes phone call to Alan Greenspan, chairman of the
Federal Reserve, about Enron.
Lay meets with Dynegy chairman Chuck Watson.
October 28, 2001 Lay talks to Paul H. O'Neill, Secretary of the Treasury.
O'Neill tells Peter Fisher, Treasury Under-secretary to look into Enron.
Fisher talks with Enron president Greg Whalley repeatedly over the next few
days. Whalley, according to Fisher, implies that he would like Fisher to ask
Enron's creditors to extend its credit. Fisher doesn't.
October 29, 2001 Lay asks Donald L. Evans, Secretary of Commerce, for help
with an upcoming credit rating review by Moody's Investors Service. Evans
does nothing, and Moody's downgrades Enron's rating.
October 31, 2001 Enron announces that the S.E.C. inquiry is now a formal
November 8, 2001 Enron announces it overstated profits by $586 million over
Lay calls O'Neill again, comparing Enron to Long Term Capital.
The S.E.C. subpoenas Arthur Andersen officials.
November 9, 2001 Dynegy announces it will acquire Enron for $9 billion.
Nancy Temple leaves a voice message for David B. Duncan ordering the
preservation of all Enron documents. His assistant sends an email to other
assistants to "stop the shredding".
November 19, 2001 Enron announces the payment of a $690 million note is
nearly due as a result of the descent of its credit rating.
November 28, 2001 Dynegy retracts its acquisition offer.
November 29, 2001 The S.E.C. begins investigating Arthur Andersen.
December 2, 2001 Enron files for bankruptcy.
December 12, 2001 In testimony before Congress, Arthur Andersen CEO Joseph
Berardino states that Enron might have violated securities laws.
January 10, 2002 Arthur Andersen states that it destroyed Enron documents.
Congressional investigators state the destruction occurred from September to
January 14, 2002 Arthur Andersen releases communications documents detailing
Nancy Temple's involvement in the document destruction.
January 15, 2002 Arthur Andersen announces that it fired David B. Duncan and
put three partners on administrative leave.
January 20, 2002 On Meet the Press, Arthur Andersen CEO Joseph Berardino
states the document retention policy was "not to shred documents, not to
eliminate documents if you have a reasonable basis to anticipate
January 22, 2002 Enron executive Maureen Castaneda states that Enron has
been shredding documents in its Houston headquarters the previous week.
January 25, 2002 Former Enron executive J. Clifford Baxter found dead from
February 27, 2002 Connecticut Democrat Joseph Lieberman publicly critisized
Wall Street Analysts: ""It seems clear that too many analysts failed to ask
'why' before they said 'buy'"
May 3, 2002 Enron proposes to set up a new company temporally called OpCo
Energy Company. If approved, OpCo will have Enron's core assets, including
15,000 miles of pipeline assets, 75,000 miles of distribution assets, 6,700
megawatts of generation, and 12,000 employees.
March 19, 2003 Enron Board of Directors approves to keep its three pipeline
companies, Transwestern Pipeline Company, Citrus Corp., and Northern Plains
Natural Gas Company, as subsidies of the new company temporally called