Thursday, April 08, 2004


Finally, a wee bit of potential justice in California.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A federal grand jury on Thursday returned an indictment charging a unit of energy company Reliant Resources (RRI.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and four of its officers with manipulating the California energy markets.
The indictment charged Reliant Resources unit Reliant Energy Services and four officers: Jackie Thomas, a former vice president of Reliant's Power Trading Division; Reggie Howard, a former Director of the trading division; Lisa Flowers, a term trader for the trading division; and Kevin Frankeny, Reliant's manager of western operations.

The company and officials were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and commodities manipulation; wire fraud; and manipulation and attempted manipulation of the price of a commodity in interstate commerce.

The indictment alleged that in June 2000, Reliant Energy Services and its officers and employees intentionally drove up the price of electricity in the state by shutting off its power generation to create the false appearance of a shortage.