For Release: September 12, 2002
FORMER EMPLOYEE OF AVISTA ENERGY, INC. SETTLES MANIPULATION CHARGES
CFTC Orders Robert Kristufek To Pay $155,000 Civil Monetary Penalty and Imposes Two-Year Trading Ban
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today the settlement of an enforcement action, filed on August 21, 2001, against Robert S. Kristufek, of Chicago, Illinois, and others. The CFTC complaint charged Kristufek and the other respondents with manipulation of the settlement prices of the Palo Verde and California-Oregon-Border electricity futures contracts traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) during the period of April 1998 through August 1998 (see CFTC News Release 4555-01, August 21, 2001).
The CFTC settlement order, filed on September 12, 2002, finds that, on four days between April 1998 and August 1998, Kristufek manipulated the settlement prices of electricity futures contracts traded on the NYMEX. The order further finds that, prior to the manipulation, Kristufek’s then-employer, Avista Energy, Inc., had entered into cash-settled over-the-counter option contracts whose value was based on the daily settlement prices of the electricity futures contracts at issue and that Kristufek manipulated those settlement prices in order to increase Avista Energy’s net gain on its option contracts.
Without admitting nor denying the order’s findings, Kristufek agreed to the entry of the order, which:
On August 21, 2001, the CFTC filed and simultaneously settled related administrative actions against Avista Energy, former Avista Energy Vice President Thomas Johns, and former Avista Energy trader Michael T. Griswold (see CFTC News Release 4555-01, August 21, 2001). The CFTC orders settling these actions found, among other things, that, on four days between April 1998 and August 1998, Avista Energy manipulated the settlement prices of Palo Verde and California-Oregon-Border electricity futures contracts traded on the NYMEX.
The following Division of Enforcement staff are responsible for this case: Charles J. Sgro, David Acevedo, and David MacGregor.
Copies of the Commission’s order and the CFTC complaint may be found at http://www.cftc.gov.
Charles J. Sgro
Regional Counsel, CFTC Division of Enforcement
# # #