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JPMorgan Chase seeks return of $20 million

Aug. 4, 2012 at 11:25 AM
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SACRAMENTO, Aug. 4 (UPI) -- A California energy market intermediary unlawfully held back $20 million from investment bank JPMorgan Chase, the firm said in a regulatory filing.

The California Independent System Operator, which newspapers in the state call a "quasi-state agency," believed it had the authority to withhold funds from JPMorgan Chase, even though a regulatory case against it for energy trading manipulation has yet to reach any conclusions, the Sacramento Bee reported Saturday.

Online, the California ISO calls itself a "non-profit public benefit corporation ... that operates the state's wholesale transmission grid."

The non-profit corporation has accused JPMorgan Chase of market manipulation that resulted in $73 million in ill-gotten gains.

The case was filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

But the bank denies it manipulated the market, calling the argument against it feeble. In its own filing with the federal agency, JPMorgan Chase also said there has not been any official conclusion concerning the case, "let alone (a conclusion that JPMorgan) has engaged in any inappropriate conduct."

California ISO should "immediately return all unlawfully withheld payments with interest," the bank said.

The non-profit said it would return what acknowledges was withheld if the federal agency rules against it.

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