DOJ’s False Claims Act FY 2017 Statistics Show Focus on Energy

On December 21, 2017, the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) released its annual statistics on False Claims Act recoveries, announcing that it had obtained more than $3.7 billion in settlements and judgments in Fiscal Year 2017. (A copy of DOJ’s press release is available here .) While False Claims Act recoveries in the past year are not record setting ($6.1 billion in FY 2014 still holds the record) and are less than the previous year ($4.7 billion), what was notable about FY 2017 was that DOJ pursued a number of actions resulting in recoveries against energy firms. The...

U.S. Futures Exchanges Disciplinary Actions Report - November 2017

The Bracewell U.S. Futures Exchanges Disciplinary Actions Report is a monthly report that provides summaries of certain disciplinary notices by U.S. exchanges during the prior month. The report has a particular focus on notices potentially relevant to energy commodities and is not intended to be a comprehensive review of each and every notice issued. Instead, the report is intended to provide market participants, and compliance personnel in particular, with illustrative examples of rule violations and to bring to light enforcement trends across the exchanges. The disciplinary notices cited in...

U.S. Futures Exchanges Disciplinary Actions Report - October 2017

The Bracewell U.S. Futures Exchanges Disciplinary Actions Report is a monthly report that provides summaries of certain disciplinary notices by U.S. exchanges during the prior month. The report has a particular focus on notices potentially relevant to energy commodities and is not intended to be a comprehensive review of each and every notice issued. Instead, the report is intended to provide market participants, and compliance personnel in particular, with illustrative examples of rule violations and to bring to light enforcement trends across the exchanges. The disciplinary notices cited in...

CFTC Annual Enforcement Update

On November 22, 2017, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) released its annual enforcement report for fiscal year 2017. As in previous years, this year’s report highlights the agency’s continued commitment to enforcement and aggressive pursuit of those viewed as engaging in conduct that undermines the integrity of CFTC-jurisdictional markets. In fiscal year 2017, the CFTC brought 49 enforcement actions, with matters involving market manipulation, prohibited trading practices, or retail fraud ( e.g ., Ponzi schemes) accounting for the vast majority of these actions (35 out of 49...

FERC Rejects Marketing Affiliate Petition

Can a marketing affiliate of an oil pipeline purchase transportation at the filed tariff rate and then re-sell this capacity at a lower, non-public rate without running afoul of the Interstate Commerce Act’s prohibition on rebates? On November 22, 2017, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued an order that addressed this very issue. One year ago, Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P. (“Magellan”) filed a petition for declaratory order at FERC seeking FERC’s opinion on several structures involving a to-be-created marketing affiliate. This marketing affiliate would facilitate...

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