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Enforcement Civil Penalties All Civil Penalty Actions

 
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All Civil Penalty Actions – 2016


To access the significant orders and federal district court papers related to all matters that have proceeded to Orders to Show Cause, see the Orders to Show Cause Proceedings page.

Subject(s) of Investigation and Order Sanctions, including Civil Penalties, Disgorgement, and Compliance Measures Description of Findings of Violations
Maxim Power Corporation, Maxim Power (USA), Inc., Maxim Power (USA) Holding Company Inc., Pawtucket Power Holding Co., LLC, Pittsfield Generating Company, LP, and Kyle Mitton, Docket No. IN15-4-000, Order Approving Stipulation and Consent Agreement, 156 FERC ¶ 61,223  PDF (September 26, 2016),

Prior Commission Activity:

Order Assessing Civil Penalties, 151 FERC ¶ 61,094  PDF (May 1, 2015), Order to Show Cause and Notice of Proposed Penalty, 150 FERC ¶ 61,068  PDF (February 2, 2015).
Disgorgement by Maxim Power Corp. of $4,000,000 to ISO-NE. Civil Penalty by Maxim Power Corp. of $4,000,000 to United States Treasury. The Commission issued an Order Assessing Civil Penalties for violations of the Commission’s Anti-Manipulation Rule, 18 C.F.R. § 1c.2, section 222 of the Federal Power Act (FPA), 16 U.S.C. § 824v(a), and 18 C.F.R. § 35.41(b) through a scheme to mislead the ISO-New England market monitor to collect make-whole payments for reliability dispatches based on the price of oil when Maxim’s plant actually burned less costly gas. Maxim and the other named corporate respondents including Mitton elected the procedures of FPA section 31(d)(3), in which the Commission assesses a penalty and, if the penalty is not paid, then institutes an action in federal district court to review the assessment. On September 26, 2016, the Commission issued an Order approving a Stipulation and Consent Agreement (Agreement) between the Office of Enforcement (Enforcement) and Maxim Power Corp., Maxim Power (USA), Inc., Maxim Power (USA) Holding Company Inc., Pawtucket Power Holding Company, LLC, and Pittsfield Generating Company, LP (Maxim Respondents), finding that the Agreement resolves on fair and equitable terms Enforcement’s investigation under Part 1b of the Commission’s regulations, 18 C.F.R. § 1b, into whether the Maxim Respondents violated section 222 of the Federal Power Act (FPA) and the Commission’s Anti-Manipulation Rule, 18 C.F.R. § 1c and the Commission’s rule concerning communications by entities with market-based rate authority. The Maxim Respondents neither admit nor deny the alleged violations and agree to pay the disgorgement and civil penalty outlined in the Agreement. The Agreement also resolves the Commission’s lawsuit captioned FERC v. Maxim Power Corporation et al., No. 3:15-cv-30113-MGM before the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, upon approval of dismissal by the court. . FERC and Maxim filed a Joint Stipulation of Dismissal with the District Court.
BP America Inc., BP Corporation North America Inc., BP America Production Company, BP Energy Company, Docket No. IN13-15-000, Order Staying the Payment Directives of the Order Assessing Civil Penalties, 156 FERC ¶ 61,174  PDF (September 12, 2016)

Prior Commission Activity:

Opinion No. 549, Order on Initial Decision and Rehearing, 156 FERC ¶ 61,031  PDF (July 11, 2016), Initial Decision, 152 FERC ¶ 63,016  PDF (August 13, 2015), Order Establishing Hearing, 147 FERC ¶ 61,130  PDF (May 15, 2014)
Civil Penalty in the amount of $20,160,000 against BP America Inc., BP Corporation North America Inc., BP America Production Company, BP Energy Company (BP); disgorgement in the amount of $207,169 against BP. The Commission issued an Order to Show Cause why the company should not be found to have violated the Anti-Manipulation Rule, 18 C.F.R. 1c.1, for sales of natural gas at specific natural gas trading hubs to affect the index price at which related financial instruments settled. The Commission set the matter for hearing before an ALJ. The ALJ’s Initial Decision, reviewable by the Commission, found that BP violated Section 1c.1 of the Commission’s regulations and Section 4A of the Natural Gas Act, and made factual findings respecting the application of the Commission’s Penalty Guidelines. The Commission issued an order affirming the ALJ’s Initial Decision and ordered BP to pay $20,160,000 in civil penalties and disgorge unjust profits in the amount of $207,169. On September 7, 2016, BP filed a Petition for Review of the Order on Initial Decision and Rehearing with the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. BP also filed a motion for the Commission to stay the payment directives ordered in the Penalty Assessment and the Commission issued an order on September 12, 2016 granting the motion.
National Energy & Trade, L.P., Order Approving Stipulation and Consent Agreement, 156 FERC ¶ 61,154  PDF (September 1, 2016) Civil penalties in the amount of $1,155,225.91, and disgorgement in the amount of $305,780.50, plus interest (disgorgement and interest to be paid to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) of the state of Texas), against National Energy & Trade, L.P. The Commission issued an Order approving a Stipulation and Consent Agreement (Agreement) between the Office of Enforcement (Enforcement) and National Energy & Trade, L.P. (National Energy). The Agreement resolves the investigation conducted by Enforcement into whether National Energy violated the Commission’s Anti-Manipulation Rule, 18 C.F.R. § 1c.1 (2016), by manipulating physical natural gas prices between January 1, 2011 and September 30, 2015 at the Houston Ship Channel, Tetco M3, Transco Zone 6 (New York), and Henry Hub in order to benefit its related financial positions. National Energy neither admits nor denies the alleged violations, but it agrees to payment of the civil penalty and disgorgement.
In re David Silva, Order Approving Stipulation and Consent Agreement, 156 FERC ¶ 61,155  PDF (September 1, 2016) Civil penalties in the amount of $40,000, and a one-year ban from participation in any FERC-jurisdictional natural gas markets, against David Silva The Commission issued an Order approving a Stipulation and Consent Agreement (Agreement) between the Office of Enforcement (Enforcement) and David Silva. The Agreement resolves the investigation conducted by Enforcement into whether David Silva violated the Commission’s Anti-Manipulation Rule, 18 C.F.R. § 1c.1 (2016), by manipulating physical natural gas prices in January 2012 in order to benefit his related financial position. David Silva neither admits nor denies the alleged violations, but he agrees to payment of the civil penalty and the one-year ban.
Saracen Energy Midwest, LP, Order Approving Stipulation and Consent Agreement, 156 FERC ¶ 61,122  PDF (August 22, 2016) Civil penalties of $25,000 and compliance monitoring reporting. The Commission issued an Order approving a Stipulation and Consent Agreement (Agreement) between the Office of Enforcement (Enforcement) and Saracen Energy Midwest, LP (Saracen). The Agreement resolves the investigation conducted by Enforcement into whether Saracen violated Southwest Power Pool, Inc.’s (SPP) Tariff, Attachment AE, Section 7.4.1(4), by submitting bids for Transmission Congestion Rights (TCRs) at Electrically Equivalent Settlement Locations (EESLs) for auctions in September and October 2014, and March and April 2015. Saracen admits the facts, but  neither admits or denies the alleged violations. Saracen agrees to payment of the civil penalty and compliance measures.
ETRACOM LLC and Michael Rosenberg, Docket No. IN16-2-000, Order Assessing Penalties, 155 FERC ¶ 61,284  PDF (June 17, 2016)

Prior Commission Activity:

Order to Show Cause and Notice of Proposed Penalty, 153 FERC ¶ 61,314  PDF (December 16, 2015)
Civil penalties and disgorgement as follows, respectively: $2,400,000 civil penalty against ETRACOM; $100,000 civil penalty against Rosenberg; $315,072 plus interest in disgorgement against ETRACOM. Following an Order to Show Cause proceeding, the Commission issued an Order Assessing Civil Penalties against ETRACOM and Rosenberg. The order found that ETRACOM and Rosenberg violated section 1c.2 of the Commission’s regulations and section 222 of the Federal Power Act (FPA), by submitting virtual supply transactions at the New Melones intertie (New Melones) at the border of the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) wholesale electric market in order to affect power prices and economically benefit ETRACOM’s Congestion Revenue Rights (CRRs) sourced at that location. ETRACOM and Rosenberg elected the procedures of FPA section 31(d)(3), in which the Commission assesses a penalty and if the disgorgement and civil penalties are not paid within 60 days, the Commission institutes an action in federal district court to affirm the assessment.
Lincoln Paper and Tissue, LLC, Docket No. IN12-10-000, Order Approving Stipulation and Consent Agreement, 155 FERC ¶ 61,228 PDF (June 1, 2016)

Prior Commission Activity:

Order Assessing Civil Penalties, 144 FERC ¶ 61,162 PDF (August 29, 2013); Order to Show Cause, 140 FERC ¶ 61,031 PDF (July 17, 2012)
Disgorgement and civil penalties as follows, respectively: $379,016.03, in disgorgement. $5,000,000 in civil penalties. During an Order to Show Cause proceeding before the Commission, Lincoln elected the procedures of FPA section 31(d)(3), in which the Commission assessed a penalty and on December 2, 2013, filed a Petition in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts to affirm and enforce its Order Assessing Civil Penalty. On April 11, 2016, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts denied Lincoln’s Motion to Dismiss and transferred the Litigation to the United States District Court for the District of Maine. On September 28, 2015, Lincoln filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maine. On June 1, 2016, the Commission issued an Order Approving Stipulation and Consent Agreement (Agreement). The Agreement resolves the investigation into whether Lincoln engaged in fraudulent conduct in its participation in ISO-New England, Inc.’s (ISO-NE) Day-Ahead Load Response Program (DALRP), thereby violating the Commission’s Anti-Manipulation Rule, 18 C.F.R. § 1c.2 and section 222 of the Federal Power Act (FPA), and the subsequent Order Assessing Civil Penalties that resulted from the underlying Order to Show Cause proceeding relating to Enforcement’s investigation. Lincoln neither admits nor denies the allegations. The Commission-approved settlement was filed with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Maine, which approved it on July 18, 2016 (In re Lincoln Paper and Tissue, LLC, Case No. 15-10715 (Bankr.D.Me. July 18, 2016) (ECF 637). Consistent with the settlement, the District Court case was closed on August 8, 2016 (FERC v. Lincoln Paper and Tissue, LLC, 1:16-cv-206 (D.Me. Aug. 8, 2016) (ECF 112)).
Coaltrain Energy, L.P., Peter Jones, Shawn Sheehan, Robert Jones, Jeff Miller, Jack Wells, Docket No. IN16-4-000 Order Assessing Penalties, 155 FERC ¶ 61,204 PDF (May 27, 2016)

Prior Commission Activity:

Order to Show Cause and Notice of Proposed Penalty, 154 FERC ¶ 61,002 PDF (January 6, 2016)
Disgorgement and civil penalties as follows, respectively: $4,121,894 plus interest in disgorgement against Coaltrain, Peter Jones, and Shawn Sheehan, jointly and severally. Coaltrain $26,000,000 (jointly and severally with Peter Jones and Shawn Sheehan); Peter Jones and Shawn Sheehan $5,000,000 each; Robert Jones $1,000,000; and Jeff Miller and Jack Wells $500,000 each in civil penalties. Following an Order to Show Cause proceeding, the Commission issued an Order Assessing Civil Penalties against Coaltrain Energy, L.P., Peter Jones, Shawn Sheehan, Robert Jones, Jeff Miller, Jack Wells. The order found that Coaltrain, and the named individuals violated section 1c.2 of the Commission’s regulations and section 222 of the Federal Power Act (FPA), by engaging in fraudulent Up To Congestion (UTC) transactions in PJM Interconnection L.L.C.’s energy markets. The Commission declined to find Adam Hughes to have individually violated section 1c.2. The order further found that Coaltrain Energy, L.P. violated 18 C.F.R. § 35.41(b) of the Commission’s rules through false and misleading statements and material omissions relating to the existence of documents responsive to data requests and relating to the trading conduct at issue in the matter. Finally, the order assessed disgorgement and civil penalties as outlined for the violations. Coaltrain and the other named respondents elected the procedures of FPA section 31(d)(3), in which the Commission assesses a penalty and if the disgorgement and civil penalties are not paid within 60 days, the Commission institutes an action in federal district court to affirm the assessment.
Total Gas & Power North America, Inc., Total, S.A., Total Gas & Power, Ltd., Aaron Hall, and Therese Tran f/k/a Nguyen, Docket No. IN12-17-000, Order to Show Cause and Notice of Proposed Penalty, 155 FERC ¶ 61,105 PDF (April 28, 2016) Disgorgement and civil penalties as follows, respectively: $9.18 million in disgorgement against TGPNA, Total, and TGPL, jointly and severally; $213,600,000 civil penalty against TGPNA (jointly and severally with Total and TGPL), $1,000,000 civil penalty against Hall (jointly and severally with TGPNA, Total, and TGPL), and $2,000,000 civil penalty against Tran (jointly and severally with TGPNA, Total, and TGPL). The Commission issued an Order to Show Cause directing TGPNA, Hall, and Tran to show the Commission why they should not be found to have violated section 4A of the Natural Gas Act and section 1c.1 of the Commissionís regulations, by engaging in a scheme to manipulate the price of natural gas at four locations in the southwest United States between June 2009 and June 2012. The Order to Show Cause further directs Total and TGPL to show cause why they should not be held liable for TGPNAís, Hallís and Tranís conduct and held jointly and severally liable for their disgorgement and civil penalties based on Totalís and TGPLís significant control and authority over TGPNAís daily operations. Finally, the Order to Show Cause directs the Respondents to show cause why disgorgement and civil penalties should not be assessed for the violations alleged by Enforcement Staff.
Berkshire Power Company LLC and Power Plant Management Services LLC, Docket No. IN16-3-000, Order Approving Stipulation and Consent Agreement, 154 FERC ¶ 61,259 PDF (March 30, 2016) Disgorgement and civil penalties as follows, respectively: $1,012,563, plus interest in disgorgement by Berkshire. $2,000,000 in civil penalties, jointly and severally, against Berkshire and Power Plant Management, and an additional separate civil penalty in the amount of $30,000 against Berkshire for violations of the Reliability Standards. The Commission issued an Order approving a Stipulation and Consent Agreement (Agreement) between the Office of Enforcement (Enforcement), Berkshire Power Company LLC (Berkshire), and Power Plant Management Services LLC (PPMS). The Agreement resolves the investigation conducted by Enforcement into whether Berkshire and PPMS violated section 222 of the Federal Power Act (FPA) and the Commission’s Anti-Manipulation Rule, 18 C.F.R. § 1c.1 (2015), and whether Berkshire separately violated the Market Behavior Rules, 18 C.F.R. § 35.41(a) and (b), the ISO-NE Tariff, and certain Commission-Approved Reliability Standards, by concealing plant maintenance and associated outages from ISO-New England, Inc. (ISO-NE) between January 1, 2008 and March 30, 2011. Berkshire and PPMS admit the violations and agree, in addition to payment of the civil penalties and disgorgement, to implement measures designed to improve compliance with applicable Commission regulations and jurisdictional tariffs.