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Enron Trader to Return

June 10, 2003|From Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A former Enron Corp. executive has agreed to return to California to face charges that he manipulated the state's energy market, leading to rolling blackouts.

John M. Forney waived his right to a hearing Monday in U.S. District Court in Columbus where a magistrate had been expected to confirm his identity as the person named in a federal complaint and order his return to San Francisco.

"He's not fighting it," said Fred Alverson, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney in Columbus.

Forney, 41, who lives in a Columbus suburb, is the third energy trader who worked at Enron's power trading office in Portland, Ore., to be charged with crimes related to California's energy crisis.

He worked at Enron from 1993 to 2002 before being hired at Columbus-based American Electric Power Co. Forney was arrested last week at an AEP office building. AEP has placed him on administrative leave.

It was not clear when Forney planned to return to California. One of his attorneys, Brian Murphy, and prosecutors in California did not return phone messages seeking comment.

Murphy has said the charges are meritless and that Forney plans to challenge them.

Enron is under new management after its 2001 bankruptcy filing and has sold its energy-trading business.

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