According to Eric Wolff of the North County Times, San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) was fined $80,000 fine for engaging in illegal trades on natural gas futures in 2006. SDG&E further agreed to change its commodity trading procedures to prevent future illegal wash trades.

SDG&E has been subject to a number of recent penalties for withholding information and "investigatory obstruction" before the California Public Utilities Commission. In 2007, SDG&E was found guilty in a federal environmental crimes matter of fraud/false statements to government inspectors; the guilty verdicts were set aside pending a new trial that was eventually dismissed. Despite the dismissal in United States of America v. SDG&E, CPUC's Division of Ratepayer Advocates insists that none of that matter's legal costs be passed on to consumers and ratepayers.

SDG&E is currently claiming that CPUC has a constitutional duty to have consumers pay for SDG&E employee negligence when causing wildfires. Shortly after former San Diego City Attorney Michael Aguirre announced his intervention on behalf of ratepayers and residential consumers in SDG&E's uninsured reimbursement matter (WEBA), SDG&E settled with CPUC on a $14.8 million amount for involvement by the Sempra Energy-owned utility in the 2007 San Diego County wildfires.

ENERGY: SDG&E agrees to $80,000 penalty for 'wash sales'


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