Dominion Resources Inc. has agreed to pay $4.25 million in civil penalties to settle charges that it reported false information on natural gas trades to published price indexes over a two-year period, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said last Wednesday.

The CFTC order found that from at least December 2000 through November 2002 several traders on Dominion’s natural gas trading desks “knowingly reported false, misleading and knowingly inaccurate” trading information, including price and volume data, to three energy industry newsletters that collect prices on daily gas trades and publish them in indexes — Gas Daily, Inside FERC and Natural Gas Intelligence.

The Dominion traders’ reports included both fictitious trades and certain actual trades in which prices and/or volumes were altered, as well as selected trades that were observed in the market, all of which were represented to be Dominion’s actual trades, the CFTC said.

In addition to the penalty, the agency’s order requires the Richmond, VA-based energy company to cooperate with the CFTC in future investigations.

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