Long-Awaited CFTC v. Kraft Settlement Resolves Manipulation Allegations

Today the legal battle between the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and Kraft Foods Group, Inc. (Kraft) over whether Kraft manipulated the wheat market in 2011 officially ended with the entering of a Consent Order in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. It was disclosed on March 25, 2019 that the parties reached a binding agreement, but the details have remained non-public until today. The settlement includes a civil penalty of $16 million dollars to be paid by Mondelez Global, LLC (an affiliate of and co-defendant with Kraft Foods Group, Inc.). While the...
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Ninth Circuit Sides with CFTC on Scope of Anti-Manipulation Authority

Ninth Circuit Sides with CFTC on Scope of Anti-Manipulation Authority By Michael Brooks, Robert Pease, and Ryan Eletto A three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently issued a decision that revives claims by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) that Monex Deposit Company and two affiliates (Monex) violated the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) by engaging in an alleged scheme to defraud investors in precious medals. CFTC v. Monex , No. 18-55815 (9 th Cir. 2019). While the opinion is expressly limited to leveraged retail commodity transactions, the CFTC...
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FERC Revises Market-Based Rate Seller Requirements

On July 18, 2019, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued two final rules—Order Nos. 860 and 861—adopting changes to the regulations and policies applicable to companies selling energy, capacity, or ancillary services at market-based rates (“MBR”). Collectively, the final rules make significant changes to the types of information that companies seeking to obtain or retain MBR authority will be required to provide to FERC as well as the manner in which this information is submitted to FERC. In Order No. 860, FERC: Requires sellers to submit market, asset, and ownership...
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Finding New FPA Authority, FERC Makes Policy Change to Authorize Retroactive Surcharges (and Maybe More)

Historically, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or the “Commission”) has maintained a policy whereby it will not order refunds stemming from rate design and cost allocation rulings, reasoning that it was statutorily barred from instituting offsetting surcharges. [1] In June 2019, however, FERC altered this policy to allow it to grant such refunds. FERC based its policy change on its determination that, at least with respect to Federal Power Act (“FPA”) § 206 [2] proceedings, FPA § 309 grants the agency broad remedial authority to require retroactive surcharges. In Black Oak...

EPA’s Enforcement Statistics and Priorities – the Trump Administration’s Shift in Focus Toward Collaboration and Greater Coordination with the States

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Special thanks to our 2019 Summer Associate, Craig Jones , for co-authoring this article. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Over the last few months, EPA’s enforcement priorities under the Trump Administration have come into sharper focus. The Fiscal Year 2018 Enforcement Annual Results offer a snapshot of a full year of the agency’s enforcement activity under Senate-confirmed leadership...

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