Article: FOCUS-Results tally up billions in profit from Texas freeze for gas and power sellers

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FOCUS-Results tally up billions in profit from Texas freeze for gas and power sellers

Devika Krishna Kumar, Scott DiSavino and Jessica Resnick-Ault, 06 May 2021

Natural gas suppliers, pipeline companies and banks that trade commodities have emerged as the biggest market winners from February’s U.S. winter blast that roiled gas and power markets, according to more than two dozen interviews and quarterly earnings reports.

The deep freeze caught Texas’s utilities off-guard, killed more than 100 people and left 4.5 million without power. Demand for heat pushed wholesale power costs to 400 times the usual amount and propelled natural gas prices to record highs, forcing utilities and consumers to pay exorbitant bills. Continue reading “Article: FOCUS-Results tally up billions in profit from Texas freeze for gas and power sellers”

Article: Former Glencore trader charged in global oil price manipulation scam

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Former Glencore trader charged in global oil price manipulation scam

THOMAS BIESHEUVEL AND JAVIER BLAS, 23 March 2021

(Bloomberg) –A former Glencore Plc trader was charged by U.S. authorities with conspiracy to manipulate a key oil price benchmark, the latest sign that prosecutors around the world are stepping up their scrutiny of the notoriously opaque commodity trading industry.

U.S. prosecutors alleged that Emilio Heredia, a former Glencore employee, directed buy and sell orders that would push fuel oil prices up and down. That allowed the companies he worked for to profit from the price swings, between 2012 and 2016, according to a filing at a U.S. District Court in San Francisco on March 15.

The investigation is the latest legal setback for Glencore, already embroiled in a wide-ranging probe by the U.S. Department of Justice on allegations of bribery and money laundering. The UK, Swiss and Brazilian authorities are also investigating the commodity trader. Continue reading “Article: Former Glencore trader charged in global oil price manipulation scam”

Article: The Vitol Enforcement Action: Part 1 – Market Manipulation Through Corruption

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The Vitol Enforcement Action: Part 1 – Market Manipulation Through Corruption

Thomas Fox, 07 December 2020

Last week the Department of Justice (DOJ) settled a multi-part enforcement action, partly involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), with Vitol Inc. (Vitol), the US subsidiary of Vitol Holding II SA. Vitol agreed to pay a combined $135 million to resolve matters.

Interestingly, also included in the overall settlement was a disgorgement of more than $12.7 million to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in a related matter and a penalty payment to the CFTC of $16 million related to trading activity. The FCPA component was settled via a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) and Criminal Information (Information). Continue reading “Article: The Vitol Enforcement Action: Part 1 – Market Manipulation Through Corruption”

Article: Vitol to pay $95.7 million to settle fraud, market manipulation charges

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Vitol to pay $95.7 million to settle fraud, market manipulation charges

Reuters Staff, 04 December 2020

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Energy and commodities trading firm Vitol Inc has agreed to pay $95.7 million to settle charges of corruption-based fraud and attempted market manipulation, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission on Thursday.

Houston-based Vitol did not admit or deny the charges, but agreed to pay the civil penalties related to making bribes and offering kickbacks to employees of certain state-owned entities in Brazil, Ecuador and Mexico in exchange for “preferential treatment and access to trades,” the regulator said.

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