A decade of SOX

A timeline of the most important events related to SOX


  • Sept. 9 – “Something is rotten with the state of Enron,” writes the New York Times of a 62 percent fall in value of Enron Corp. shares since January. “Or so Wall Street suspects.”
  • Oct. 16 – Enron says that, due to accounting violations, it will restate financial statements for 1997 through 2000.
  • Dec. 2 – Enron files for Chapter 11 protection in what is then the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.
  • Dec. 12 – The House Committee on Financial Services holds a hearing on the Enron collapse, becoming the first of many Congressional committees to address it.



  • May 27 – The SEC adopts final rules implementing Section 404 of SOX—the most controversial and most expensive provision of the bill. But the Commission extends deadlines over its requirements. It will continue to extend deadlines for certain filers into 2010.
  • Nov. 4 – The Department of Justice (DOJ) brings criminal charges against former HealthSouth Corp. CEO Richard Scrushy. Included are three violations of SOX 906, making him the first CEO charged under SOX. Scrushy will go on to challenge the constitutionality of SOX’s certification provisions and fail. In 2005, after a five-month trial, a jury will clear him of all charges. But he will not see similar success in separate criminal and civil cases.



  • Aug. 22 – The D.C. Circuit upholds the PCAOB as constitutional following a 2006 challenge by the Free Enterprise Fund and a small accounting firm, Beckstead and Watts.
  • Dec. 11 – After Section 304, the SOX clawback provision, is invoked in a shareholder derivative action, the 9th Circuit rules there is no private right of action for Section 304. Other circuits will follow.


Associate Editor

Melissa Maleske

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