Release Number 5540-08

Release: 5540-08

For Release: September 4, 2008

CFTC Orders Sempra Energy Trading LLC to Pay $175,000 to Settle Trading Card Violations in Connection with Natural Gas Futures Trading on the NYMEX

Washington, DC — The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) today filed and simultaneously settled charges against Sempra Energy Trading LLC (Sempra) for trading card violations involving natural gas futures trades on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) and ordered Sempra to pay a $175,000 civil penalty.

The CFTC order issued on September 4, 2008, finds that on certain trading days between August and November 2004, Sempra’s floor brokers violated a CFTC regulation by failing to properly and accurately prepare trading cards in order to process trades that were made after the contract was no longer trading. According to the order, the trades were “EFS” trades, which involve an exchange of futures for, or in connection with, a swap. Collectively these trades involved positions of several hundred lots. However, on each of the trading dates at issue, the trades took place outside of the permitted time period. The trading cards, therefore, did not accurately reflect the actual trade dates or listed trades entered out of exact chronological order in violation of CFTC regulations applicable to trading cards.

The order concluded that because the Sempra floor brokers undertook their actions within the scope of their employment; Sempra is liable for its floor brokers’ violations.

The CFTC appreciates the assistance provided by NYMEX staff during the investigation of this matter.

The following Division of Enforcement staff was responsible for this case: Nathan Ploener, David Oakland, Manal Sultan, Michael Penick, David MacGregor, Lenel Hickson, Jr., Vincent A. McGonagle, and Stephen J. Obie.

Media Contacts
Ianthe Zabel

Dennis Holden

Last Updated: September 4, 2008