TIMELINE:The legal saga of Allen Stanford

(Reuters) - The former chief financial officer of Stanford International Bank pleaded guilty on Thursday to charges stemming from an alleged $7 billion fraud.

Meanwhile, accused swindler Allen Stanford had been scheduled to appear in court Thursday but was taken to a hospital in Conroe, Texas, earlier in the morning due to an “extremely high” pulse rate and an irregular heart rhythm, Judge David Hittner said in a court hearing.

Following is a chronology of some of the main events in the legal saga of Stanford and the spectacular implosion of his financial empire.

Feb 17 - Stanford and three of his companies charged with “massive ongoing fraud” in a civil complaint filed in federal court in Dallas by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Feb 26 - Laura Pendergest-Holt, chief investment officer for the Stanford Financial Group, is arrested by FBI. She is subsequently freed on bail.

June 18 - Stanford surrenders to authorities in Virginia after criminal charges finally filed against him.

June 19 - U.S. Justice Department officials say Stanford, three associates and a top Caribbean regulator indicted on fraud, conspiracy and obstruction charges in elaborate $7 billion Ponzi scheme to bilk investors. Stanford appears in Virginia courtroom in shackles and is later transferred to Houston for bail hearing.

June 25 - Stanford pleads “not guilty” to fraud charges in Houston.

June 30 - A federal judge orders Stanford held without bail until trial.

Aug 27 - James Davis, former chief financial officer of Stanford International Bank, pleads guilty to charges stemming from the alleged fraud. Davis, who had been cooperating with federal prosecutors, faces a maximum of 30 years in prison on the conspiracy, fraud and obstruction charges.

Compiled by Ed Stoddard, editing by Chris Baltimore and Gerald E. McCormick