Former Duke Energy trader pleads guilty

Charge was conducting trades that helped falsify the company’s books
A former Duke Energy Corp. trader pleaded guilty to federal charges that he conducted trades that helped falsify the company’s books in November 2001, prosecutors said Monday.
Brian Lavielle, who worked in Duke’s trading office in Houston, was instructed by his supervisor to split up round-trip trades, which artificially inflated trading volume, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Houston. Typically in a round-trip trade, companies swap equal amounts of a commodity to boost revenue.

U.S. prosecutors indicted Lavielle and former Duke vice presidents Timothy Kramer, Lavielle’s supervisor, and Todd Reid last year, accusing them of falsifying $50 million in energy trading profits to boost their bonuses.
As part of the plea, Lavielle, 34, agreed to cooperate with the government’s ongoing prosecution in exchange for his dismissal from the indictment filed last year.
John Sweeney, an attorney for Lavielle, said in a statement that the violation was a misdemeanor.
Charlotte-based Duke cooperated in the case and wasn’t charged with wrongdoing when prosecutors filed indictments last year.
Source: Charlotte Observer

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