Skip to comments.Former Enron Energy Trader Faces Charges
Posted on 12/04/2003 8:28:56 PM PST by Calpernia
SAN FRANCISCO - A former Enron Corp. executive was charged in a superseding indictment Thursday with 11 counts of conspiracy and fraud in connection with the company's manipulation of energy markets during California's power crisis.
John Forney, 41, of Ohio, is the third former Enron official to be charged with illegally manipulating California's electricity prices from the company's Portland, Ore., office. His attorney said he is innocent and will fight the charges at trial.
Two other former Enron energy traders pleaded guilty and are cooperating in the federal investigation into Enron's role in the energy debacle, which bankrupted Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and will leave California consumers paying abnormally high electricity prices for years.
Forney allegedly concocted a scheme known as "Ping Pong" designed to evade federal price caps on California energy. The scheme involved buying energy from California and later selling it back to the state at inflated prices, making it appear the energy was generated elsewhere, prosecutors said.
The indictment filed in federal court in San Francisco also alleges that Forney was responsible for "Death Star," a scheme known inside Enron as "Forney's Perpetual Loop," that attempted to generate revenue by fraudulently charging fees for services Enron did not provide.
From Forney's trading desk in Portland, Enron charged California for electricity that wasn't delivered, thus failing to alleviate backlogged transmission lines in 2000, at a time when some parts of the state suffered rolling blackouts, prosecutors said.
"They made it look like they were relieving congestion and they would just get paid for it," said federal prosecutor Matthew Jacobs.
Forney was charged with one count of manipulation this summer and 10 more were added on Thursday. Jacobs said both sides had discussed a plea bargain, but "those negotiations concluded without resolution."
Neither Jacobs nor the indictments said how much money Houston-based Enron allegedly bilked from California energy consumers.
Forney's attorney, Robert Breakstone, said his client will enter an innocent plea on Friday. "The government has to try to prove he is guilty," Breakstone said.
Forney worked at the now-bankrupt Enron from 1993 to 2002 before being hired as an energy trader at Columbus, Ohio-based American Electric Power, before the Enron scandal broke. AEP put him on administrative leave after he was arrested in June. Forney remains free on $500,000 bail.
Former Enron executives Timothy N. Belden and Jeffrey S. Richter have pleaded guilty and cooperated with the FBI (news - web sites). Belden and Richter are expected to testify against Forney at his Oct. 12 trial next year.
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1034229/posts >>>John Haley, 72, who was once the personal lawyer of former Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker, had recently joined a new law firm. A partner, Peter B. Heister, confirmed Haley's death.<<<<
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1034229/posts?page=30#30 >>>>Ex-Im [Export-Import] Bank board members during the Clinton years include Jackie Clegg, wife of Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., and Maria Haley, a former aide to Clinton in Little Rock and ex-wife of John Haley, who was convicted in the Whitewater investigation.
... is no different than anyone else's. there are millions of people who put in an honest day's work every day, making free markets work. It's a beautiful phenomena that you probably wouldn't appreciate unless it was gone.
I'd wager that the truth has not been portrayed accurately by the one dimensional testimony the public's been fed.