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Debacles in the energy market have become everyday news. First, there was the crisis in California, then the collapse of Enron Corp. More recently, large power companies have come under the gun for manipulating natural gas prices. In September the government filed suit against Columbus-based American Electric Power Company, Inc., alleging that the company attempted to manipulate natural gas price indexes in violation of the Commodity Exchange Act. According to the suit, filed in federal district court in Columbus, the government could seek around $300 million in damages. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission, an independent government agency, claims that from November 2000 to October 2002, AEP doctored reports of energy trades and sent them to companies that compile indexes used to determine natural gas prices. The government claims that close to 80 percent of AEP’s reported natural gas trades contained false or misleading information. Some reports even recorded energy trades that did not exist, the government charges. In the past year, the CFTC has brokered settlements with six other major energy trading firms, including El Paso Corporation. The CFTC began investigating AEP about a year ago, after the company publicly disclosed that it had terminated five employees for unlawful trading activity. An answer was due from AEP at press time. For plaintiff Commodity Futures Trading Commission (Washington, D.C.) In-house: Director Gregory Mocek, senior deputy director Vincent McGonagle, regional counsel Stephen Obie, deputy regional counsel Lenel Hickson, Jr., chief trial attorney David MacGregor, and trial attorney Gregory Compa. (Obie, Hickson, MacGregor, and Compa are in the commission’s New York office.) U.S. Department of Justice: U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio Gregory Lockhart and assistant U.S. attorney Andrew Malek. The U.S. attorney’s office is acting as local counsel in the case. For defendant American Electric Power Company, Inc. (Columbus) In-house: Senior vice president and general counsel Jeffrey Cross, vice president and deputy general counsel�corporate services D. Michael Miller, vice president and associate general counsel�regulatory services Edward Brady, and vice president and associate general counsel�federal policy Joseph Hartsoe. (Hartsoe is in the company’s Washington, D.C., office.) Hogan & Hartson (Washington, D.C.): Jonathan Abram, Joseph Bell, and Steven Routh. Hogan & Hartson has handled energy and litigation matters for AEP in the past. Kirkpatrick & Lockhart (Pittsburgh): Charles Mills and associate Sean Sullivan. (Both are in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office.) Mills, who served as a CFTC attorney from 1977 to 1983, was retained for his expertise in CFTC and regulatory matters. Porter Wright Morris & Arthur (Columbus): Mason Evans IV, James Hadden, and Alvin McKenna. Porter Wright has a long-standing relationship with AEP.

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