For Release: March 6, 2008
Washington, DC − The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that it obtained a $55,000 civil monetary penalty and a permanent injunction in a consent order that settles charges against Michael Whitney, a former Houston-based natural gas trader and marketing representative at Duke Energy Trading and Marketing, LLC (DETM). Whitney was charged with false reporting and attempting to manipulate natural gas prices.
The consent order also prohibits Whitney from applying for registration, engaging in any activity requiring registration, acting as a principal (as defined by the National Futures Association) of any registered entity or person or any entity or person required to be registered, for a period of four years. The order, which resolves the CFTC’s enforcement action against Whitney in its entirety, was entered on March 5, 2008, by the Honorable Kenneth M. Hoyt of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
The order arises from a CFTC lawsuit filed on February 1, 2005 (see CFTC Press Release 5045-05, February 1, 2005) alleging that, between June 2001 and August 2002, Whitney submitted false reports of natural gas transaction information directly to at least two natural gas reporting firms, in an effort to attempt to manipulate the price of natural gas in interstate commerce. As alleged, Whitney knew that the reporting firms, including Gas Daily and Enerdata, compiled their natural gas price indexes using submitted price and volume information, and that such indexes were used in the natural gas markets to price and settle transactions.
The following CFTC staff members are responsible for this case: Glenn I. Chernigoff, Michael J. Otten, Michael Solinsky, Gretchen L. Lowe, Richard Wagner, and Vincent A. McGonagle.
Last Updated: March 6, 2008