A federal court in Ohio has tossed out claims that American Electric Power (AEP) failed to disclose that traders had reported false information on natural gas trades to index publishers.
On Sept. 10, Judge Algenon L. Marbley of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio dismissed 11 securities lawsuits that alleged five gas traders for AEP had filed inaccurate reports about gas trades to price index publications. The suits were filed in late 2002 and early 2003 and later were consolidated (The Albert Fadern Trust vs. American Electric Power).
The court concluded that there were no actionable misstatements or omissions in any of AEP’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission or other public disclosures, the Columbus, OH-based energy company said. The court also found in favor of all current and former directors and officers of AEP named as defendants in the lawsuits, dismissing all claims of securities violations against them, AEP noted.
By dismissing the case “with prejudice,” the court expressly denied plaintiffs’ request for an opportunity to file an amended complaint with new or revised allegations, according to AEP.
“We are extremely gratified by the court’s ruling. We believe firmly that our securities filings were appropriate and are pleased that the court has dismissed this lawsuit,” said Susan Tomasky, AEP executive vice president and CFO.
Still pending, however, is a $300 million lawsuit brought by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) against AEP and its subsidiary AEP Energy Services Inc. in the same Ohio district court for false reporting of gas trades to index publishers. The case, which was filed in September 2003, was the first civil case brought by the CFTC against a company charging attempted gas market manipulation through false price and transaction reporting.
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