Conduct involving fraud and market manipulation poses a significant threat to the markets overseen by the Commission, and is an enforcement priority. Such misconduct undermines the Commission’s goal of providing efficient energy services at a reasonable cost, because the financial harm imposed by such actions ultimately is borne by consumers. Of particular concern to the Commission are cases involving the greatest harm to the public, where there is either significant gain to the violator or significant loss to the victims of the misconduct.
Under the Commission’s Anti-Manipulation Rule, 18 C.F.R. § 1c, it is unlawful for any entity, directly or indirectly, in connection with the purchase or sale of electric energy or natural gas or the purchase or sale of transmission or transportation services subject to Commission jurisdiction:
- To use or employ any device, scheme, or artifice to defraud,
- To make any untrue statement of a material fact or to omit to state a material fact necessary in order to make the statements made, in the light of the circumstances under which they were made, not misleading, or
- To engage in any act, practice, or course of business that operates or would operate as a fraud or deceit upon any entity.