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BUSINESS CRIMES BULLETIN

April, 2004

Prosecuting Energy Trading Fraud under the CEA

By Michael E. Clark

In the aftermath of Enron's collapse, attention turned to the accounting and other practices of energy companies. Numerous investigations and suits have been brought against traders and energy companies involved with supplying power to California and elsewhere during the 2000-2001 energy crisis. The government has focused on such practices as "round-trip trades," in which energy companies entered into pre-arranged transactions, lacking market risk, to inflate reported trading volumes. Federal prosecutors in California and Texas have charged individuals with causing inaccurate or fictitious trades to be reported to trade journals.

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