FERC Civil Penalties for Market Manipulation

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) recently approved a settlement with GDF SUEZ Marketing NA, Inc. (“GSEMNA”) in which GSEMNA agreed to pay civil penalties of $41 million and disgorge an additional $40.8 million of profits to resolve allegations that it manipulated the wholesale electric markets administered by PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.  This is the largest civil penalty imposed by FERC since JP Morgan and Barclays Bank were each required to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in July 2013.  To manage the risk of such civil penalty exposure, companies participating in wholesale electric or gas markets need to know how FERC has treated other investigations of possible market manipulation, continually upgrade their compliance programs, and hold periodic and regular compliance training session for their traders, supervisors, and managers.  In this webinar, attendees will gain valuable knowledge that will help them delineate what is lawful and what is unlawful or of questionable legality.  This will enable attendees to help chart a course for their companies that safeguards them from investigations, while not needlessly inhibiting legitimate and profitable activities.   



EUCI is accredited by the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and offers IACET CEUs for its learning events that comply with the ANSI/IACET Continuing Education and Training Standard. IACET is recognized internationally as a standard development organization and accrediting body that promotes quality of continuing education and training.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 0.2 CEUs for this event.


Requirements for Successful Completion of Program

Participants must be logged on for the entirety of the webinar to be eligible for continuing education credit.

Instructional Methods

A Web-based PowerPoint presentation and online interactive question/answer session will be used in this webinar for each learning outcome.


FERC’s Jurisdiction and Market Manipulation Enforcement Authority

  • EPAct 2005
  • FERC Section 1c Prohibitions
  • Examples of Prohibited Conduct

Instructive Precedents

  • Bidding Practices in RTO/ISO Markets Viewed as Unlawful Gaming
    • GSEMNA
    • JP Morgan
    • Coaltrain
    • City Power Marketing
    • Powhatan Energy Fund
  • Conducting Physical Trades to Benefit Financial Positions
    • Barclays
    • BP
    • Total
    • Constellation Energy
    • Amaranth/Brian Hunter
    • Energy Transfer Partners
    • Twin Cities
    • National Energy & Trade
    • Direct Energy
  • Virtual Trading to Benefit Congestion Revenue Rights
    • ETRACOM/Michael Rosenberg
    • Louis Dreyfus Energy Services
    • Deutsche Bank Energy Trading
  • Receiving Payments Based on Allegedly Misleading Statements or Omissions
    • Maxim
    • Berkshire
    • Lincoln Paper
    • Competitive Energy Services
    • Rumford Paper
    • Gila River
    • North America Power Partners/Joseph Polidoro
  • Flipping Transactions
    • Atmos Energy
    • DTE Gas
    • ConocoPhillips
    • Integrys
  • Lessons Learned
  • How to Manage the Risks of Civil Penalties for Market Manipulation
  • FERC Civil Penalty Guidelines
  • Penalty Calculation Formula
  • Elements of an Effective Compliance Program
  • Culpability Scores
  • Intentional or Reckless Misrepresentations and False Statements to FERC and FERC Staff
  • Key Takeaways


Glenn S. Benson
Partner/Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

Glenn Benson leads the Energy Compliance & Enforcement Defense team out of the Washington, D.C. office of the international law firm of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.  He has more than 23 years of experience advising companies across the energy industry on compliance with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) rules and regulations, including its market manipulation prohibition.  He conducts regular compliance training sessions for the Firm’s energy clients and guides them through the development, implementation, and continuous improvement of their compliance programs.  He also has successfully defended clients in both the electric and natural gas industries from market manipulation investigations at FERC. 


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