For Release: October 7, 2003 (To view order, click here.)
U.S. COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION FINDS FORMER AVISTA ENERGY VICE-PRESIDENT MANIPULATED ELECTRICITY FUTURES ON NYMEX
William H. Taylor of Houston, Texas, Agrees to Settlement Terms, Including a Civil Monetary Penalty and Trading Ban
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today the settlement of an enforcement action against William H. Taylor (Taylor) of Houston, Texas, formerly Vice-President of Avista Energy, and the issuance of an order making findings and imposing remedial sanctions. The CFTC’s August 21, 2001, complaint charged Taylor 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 April 1998 through July 1998 (see CFTC News Release 4555-01, August 21, 2001).
The order finds that on three days in 1998, Taylor manipulated the settlement prices of electricity futures contracts traded on the NYMEX. The order also finds that Taylor manipulated those settlement prices to increase Avista Energy's net gain on its cash-settled, over-the-counter options contracts, the value of which was based on the daily settlement prices of the electricity futures contracts.
The CFTC order requires Taylor to cease violating the commodity laws and to pay a civil monetary penalty of $155,000. Taylor is also barred from trading on CFTC-regulated markets for 30 months. In consenting to the order, Taylor neither admitted nor denied the findings in the order or the allegations of the complaint.
The CFTC previously settled related charges against Avista Energy, Inc., former VP Thomas Johns, former trader Michael T. Griswold, and Robert S. Kristufek (see CFTC News Releases 4555-01, August 21, 2001, and 4696-02, September 12, 2002). These CFTC orders found that on four days in 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 were responsible for this case: Stephen J. Obie, David MacGregor, Manal Sultan, and Gregory Compa.
Copies of the Commission's Order and the CFTC complaint may be found at http://www.cftc.gov/.
CFTC Division of Enforcement Media Contacts:
Stephen J. Obie, New York Regional Counsel,
Lenel Hickson, Jr., Deputy Regional Counsel
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