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Duke, El Paso Ordered to Turn Over Records

July 13, 2002|From Bloomberg News

Duke Energy Corp. and El Paso Corp. received subpoenas for trading records Friday as authorities widened probes of sham transactions in natural gas and power markets.

The requests came from the U.S. attorney's office in Houston, as part of a grand jury investigation, and from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Duke said. Prosecutors previously have sought trading records from Dynegy Inc., Reliant Energy Inc. and CMS Energy Corp.

Duke has acknowledged engaging in so-called round-trip trades, which have no economic benefit.

Shares of the utility fell $3.20, or 12%, to $24.75 on the New York Stock Exchange, the biggest decline since October 1987.

El Paso, operator of the largest U.S. natural-gas pipeline network, disclosed its subpoena after the close of trading. The company denied it had used round-trip trades to inflate volume or revenue and said it hadn't used them to manipulate prices. El Paso said it would cooperate with the investigation.

El Paso shares closed 35 cents lower at $17.75 on the NYSE; they fell as low as $16.70 after hours.

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