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NRG to Pay $2M Fine for Bogus Gas Trades

NRG Energy Inc. agreed to pay a $2 million civil penalty to resolve charges by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) that the Minneapolis-based company knowingly reported false information concerning natural gas trades to Gas Daily, an energy index reporting service published by Platts. The order resolves an action brought against NRG almost three years ago (see Daily GPI, July 2, 2004).

The consent order, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, included findings that, from at least August 2001 through May 2, 2002, NRG reported false information, including price and volume information, to the industry publication. According to the order, the reports contained trades that had not been executed, trades executed by NRG but with altered prices and/or volumes, and intra-day trades reported as next-day trades.

The settlement Thursday followed a decision issued last year by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (see Daily GPI, Aug. 11, 2006), which ruled that the Minnesota district court, and not the Bankruptcy Court of New York where NRG had sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2003, had jurisdiction over CFTC's enforcement action. NRG had argued that the bankruptcy court retained exclusive jurisdiction over any legal actions.

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