- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 5, 2002

HOUSTON (AP) A former energy trader was indicted yesterday on charges he reported bogus transactions to an industry publication that calculates the price of natural gas.
Todd Geiger, a 38-year-old former vice president of El Paso Corp., was arrested Tuesday and charged with wire fraud and reporting false trade information. He was scheduled to appear in federal court yesterday.
U.S. Attorney Michael Shelby said his corporate fraud task force is further investigating Mr. Geiger and possibly traders at other companies.
Mr. Geiger is accused of reporting 48 fake natural-gas trades in November 2001 to a monthly publication called Inside FERC Gas Market Report. The fake trades reputedly affected the gas market the following month.
Inaccurate reports can make a big difference in gas prices, Mr. Shelby said.
The charges carry up to 10 years in prison, though the penalty would probably be far less under federal sentencing guidelines.
Mr. Geiger resigned Nov. 12. El Paso said in a statement that it has been cooperating fully with federal authorities.
The energy company announced Nov. 8 that it is getting out of the trading business.

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