The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has obtained a $55,000 civil monetary penalty and a permanent injunction in a consent order settling charges against Michael Whitney, a former Houston-based natural gas trader and marketing representative at Duke Energy Trading and Marketing LLC.

Whitney was charged with false reporting and attempting to manipulate natural gas prices during 2001 and 2002.

The consent order prohibits Whitney from applying for registration, engaging in any activity requiring registration, acting as a principal of any registered entity or person or any entity or person required to be registered, for four years. The order was entered on Wednesday by Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

The order arises from a CFTC lawsuit filed on Feb. 1, 2005 (see Daily GPI, Feb. 2, 2005) alleging that between June 2001 and August 2002 Whitney submitted false reports of natural gas trades directly to at least two gas price reporting firms — Gas Daily and Enerdata — in an attempt to manipulate the price of natural gas in interstate commerce.

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