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JPMorgan settles energy market-rigging probe for $410 million

July 30, 2013|By Andrew Tangel

NEW YORK -- JPMorgan Chase & Co. has agreed to pay $410 million to settle allegations it manipulated energy markets in California and the Midwest.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which announced the settlement early Tuesday, said the sum included $285 million in civil penalties JPMorgan would pay to the U.S. Treasury.

Nearly all of the remainder -- $124 million in unjust profits -- would go toward ratepayers in California's grid operator, the California Independent System Operator, FERC said.

Another $1 million would go to ratepayers in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator.

The settlement contained no admission or denial by JPMorgan.

"We are pleased to put this matter behind us," a JPMorgan spokesman said in a statement. The settlement wouldn't have a "material impact" on earnings because the company previously had set aside reserves to cover the costs, the spokesman added.

The New York-based company will "conduct a comprehensive assessment by outside counsel of its policies and practices in the power business," FERC said.

FERC's investigation found that JPMorgan manipulated energy markets from September 2010 through November 2012.

The regulator found that JPMorgan engaged in 12 manipulative bidding strategies, which forced grid operators to pay unjust premiums.

Earlier this month, the energy commission ordered the British bank Barclays, along with four of its traders, to shell out $453 million over allegations they manipulated energy markets in markets including California from 2006 to 2008. Barclays has vowed to fight the order.

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