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« "Why Do the [Liberal] Heathen Rage?" | Main | Little Does W Realize »

May 21, 2007

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Jay Drai

INCREASING COST OF ENERGY and INFLATED FRAUDULENT BILLING

It is not enough that consumers are paying higher cost for energy – Gas, Electric, Tel., Etc.
Due to the market volatility and the increase demand for energy worldwide and the manipulation of market conditions by various corporation.
Deregulation, which was designed to save the consumer on the cost of energy. Many new companies have started selling gas and electric in the past 20 years, as a result of this deregulation. We now have numerous deregulated third party suppliers of Gas and Electric that are gouging the consumers – billing prices higher than the regulated utility companies, inflating the bill, billing for product never delivered, billing phantom tax on the product, reneging on fixed price contract – when market prices go beyond the fixed contract. In short any way they can cheat, deceive and defraud the consumer is fair game.
Among the companies that practice such tactics is MULTIUT CORP or Multiut LLC of Skokie, Illinois the owner of the company Nachshon Draiman is well connected, one of the previous owners of Multiut was a federal judge and therefore has gotten away with numerous over billing and deceptive practices, there are numerous lawsuits for fraud pending against Multiut Corp and its owner Nachshon Draiman among them a Class Action Suit and Dynegy Mkg & Trade v. Multiut Corp, Nachshon Draiman et al 1:02-cv-07446 The Federal Court has imposed numerous contempt orders against Multiut and its owner and its owner Nachshon Draiman is involved in numerous other fraud in the Nursing Home business (defrauding the state Nursing License with false documents to obtain a Nursing Home License) and a hotel project where he committed a fraud of $45 million dollars and numerous other fraud and deception too numerous to mention. (Especially since Multiut and its owner Nachshon Draiman is represented by Jack Abramoff Law Firm – which has clout).
Energy Billing Fraud Charges vs Multiut owned by Nachshon Draiman!
Multiut Admitted to holding money belonging to customers.

In a Class Action proceeding initiated in November 2001 - The case after numerous delays by Multiut, is now proceeding.
Gore vs Multiut - IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS Case No. 01 CH 19688 (See: www.antidefamationusa.com)

Another Company is Santana Energy out of Texas. Some utility companies were forced to refund the consumers hundreds of million of dollars due to manipulation of pricing and billing – many of those shenanigans stem from the Enron debacle some precede it and continue on to date.
Many of these suppliers of Gas and Electric who are promoting saving are actually charging higher prices than the local utility company which defeats the intent of deregulation – Multiut’s billing shows 20% to 30% higher cost and billing for gas that was never delivered. Not to mention Multiut’s billing for non existent City of Chicago Tax on Natural gas and inflated billing for lighting retrofit to various Nursing Homes which inflates the Medicaid billing to the government.
Corporate CEO and other higher ups in the corporate world have been convicted of fraud and sentenced/fined (WorldCom, Enron, Adelphia, Etc.). But it seems that some companies can continue to defraud the public without being hindered by the authorities.
Other frauds by Gas Electric suppliers are: Centerpoint Energy Inc.,
Pending lawsuits are: AG files fraud suit against Sempra affiliate alleging Enron-like games.
JD
This article is presented by Citizen for Honest and Fair Billing

PS
THREE FORMER NICOR ENERGY EXECUTIVES AND OUTSIDE
LAWYER INDICTED IN ALLEGED CORPORATE FRAUD SCHEME

CHICAGO -- Three former executives of Nicor Energy L.L.C. and an outside lawyer for the Lisle, Ill.-based company were indicted today for allegedly engaging in a corporate fraud scheme to obtain $400,000 in bonuses and other benefits for themselves by inflating revenues - at times by as much as $6 million - and understating expenses to make the company appear more profitable than it actually was in 2001. The defendants allegedly fraudulently deprived Nicor Energy - a retail energy marketing company established in 1997 as a 50/50 joint venture by Nicor Inc. and Dynegy Inc. - of their honest services and caused a loss to investors in publicly-traded Nicor, Inc. and Dynegy. On July 18, 2002, Nicor Inc. issued a press release announcing that its financial results for the second quarter and first half of 2002 were negatively affected by several factors, including irregularities in accounting at Nicor Energy, and the following day, the stock price of Nicor Inc. fell approximately 40 percent. Nicor Energy is currently in the process of final liquidation.

The five-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury charges Kevin Stoffer, formerly Nicor Energy's President and Chief Executive Officer; Andrew Johnson, former Director of Financial Services; John Fringer, former Vice President of Major Markets and Power Services; and outside counsel Michael Munson, announced Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois
Judge Concludes Energy Company Drove Up Prices
by Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Lowell Bergman, September 24, 2002 (New York Times)
QUOTE: In the ruling, Curtis L. Wagner Jr., the chief administrative law judge at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, essentially validates the suspicions of California officials that El Paso, the nation's largest natural gas company, withheld natural gas from the state, thus driving up the cost of electricity...
ABSTRACT: In a judge’s ruling, a company who provides gas and energy supplies was found to have aided in raising the price of gas and electricity in California during previous energy crisis’s. The El Paso Corporation allegedly withheld natural gas, and in doing so, raised both gas and electricity prices. The ruling is still up for further review and many lawsuits are pending, but the El Paso Corporation contends that operations were normal and that an appeal will follow if the current decision is upheld.
--- C. Heimbuch-Skaley

MADIGAN, DALEY ANNOUNCE $196 MILLION SETTLEMENT WITH PEOPLES ENERGY; CUSTOMERS OF PEOPLES GAS AND NORTH SHORE GAS TO RECEIVE $100 MILLION IN CREDITS
Chicago – Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Mayor Richard M. Daley today announced that Peoples Energy has agreed to more than $196 million in consumer credits and benefits as part of a settlement that will provide much-needed relief to current Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas customers, establish a more than $25 million program of conservation and weatherization assistance for low- and moderate-income households and reconnect customers who have been disconnected from their heating services due to an inability to pay the high gas prices.
MADIGAN, DALEY, CUB ANNOUNCE REFUND CREDITS TO APPEAR ON NEXT GAS BILL FOR CUSTOMERS OF PEOPLES GAS AND NORTH SHORE GAS
Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan, City of Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and Citizens Utility Board (CUB) Executive Director David Kolata today announced that as a result of their settlement agreement with Peoples Energy more than one million current customers of Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas will see refund credits on their next gas bills.
To compensate for over billing consumers between 2000 and 2004, Peoples Energy has agreed to provide a refund credit to each of the 1,014,071 current customers of Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas. The credits – totaling $100 million – will be included on the first bill received by customers after April 24.
“These refund credits cannot change the conduct of Peoples Energy, but they will help consumers who suffered as a result,” Madigan said. “This is an appropriate response to Peoples' conduct.”
“We are pleased that consumers are finally receiving the refunds that they deserve,” said City of Chicago Corporation Counsel Mara Georges. “Consumers should not have to pay for bad planning and business decisions by Peoples Gas.”
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13, 2007
Justice Department Investigating NY Energy Markets
New York's wholesale energy market is being investigated for possible antitrust violations, according to a recent news report. A Newsday story indicates that a subject of the investigation may be possible withholding of capacity from the market, to drive prices up. This revelation has raised further questions regarding the proposed merger of National Grid and Keyspan, which controls significant amounts of generation capacity in the New York City markets.
Reliance Energy fraud on consumers

REL power bills have shocked Mumbai citizens, who will now have to pay double the amount they had been paying. A citizen pins down — point-by-point — the discrepancies in this billing and warns of the "REL fraud" perpetrated on the consumer.
2007.09.17
Oilman on trial in New York was involved in Austin's 1970s energy crisis
Monday, September 10, 2007
Former president of Coastal States Gas charged with wire fraud and conspiracy
Lawyers for Austin and San Antonio also learned that Lo-Vaca was selling gas to utilities serving the Dallas-Fort Worth area at the same time it was curtailing in Austin and San Antonio. In 1974 and 1975, Austin and other customers sued Lo-Vaca for $1.6 billion in rate overcharges.
EnCana Corp. et al.
A class action lawsuit has been filed against EnCana Corp., its marketing company, and sixteen other companies and corporations on behalf of Fairhaven Power Co. and all other business entities in the state of California that purchased natural gas between Jan. 1, 2000, and Dec. 31, 2001. The suit alleges a massive scheme to control the flow and prices of natural gas that was sold within California, which is a violation of U.S. antitrust laws. The suit further charges the companies with false reporting of natural gas prices, of conducting "wash trades" designed to boost trading volumes and conspiring to avoid competing with each other in the pricing and sale of natural gas in California.
Centerpoint Energy Inc. et. al.
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Centerpoint Energy Inc. and other natural gas suppliers on behalf of millions of residential customers in Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Minnesota. The suit alleges fraud, unjust enrichment and claims that a conspiracy between the companies has led to the artificially inflated natural gas prices.

If you feel you qualify for damages or remedies that might be awarded in this class action please click the link below to submit your complaint.

BP & Reliant - Guilty of Price Fixing

In yet another settlement over the California Energy Crisis, BP & Reliant admit guilt and settle with the State of California.

Source: TheTip, 2003-07-21

Candidate: Enron

Naturally, the settlement does nothing to compensate the hundreds of thousands of people whose jobs and lives were ruined by the FERC-Caused California Recession.

BP Energy agreed to contribute $3 million to fund low-income home energy assistance programs in California and Arizona to settle a case in which federal energy regulators said that they found apparent evidence of power price manipulation.

In March, staff members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a report on the 2000-01 energy crisis in the West. It said it found evidence indicating Reliant Resources and BP Energy, both based in Houston, appeared to have engaged in coordinated efforts to manipulate power prices at a trading hub in Arizona.

Both companies were ordered to demonstrate why their authority to sell power on unregulated wholesale markets shouldn't be revoked.

BP Energy doesn't lose that ability under the settlement. But for six months, BP Energy's electricity sales in the West will be subject to review by the FERC with the possibility of refunds.
Mid America Energy Inc.,
The Securities and Exchange Commission said today that it had filed a civil complaint against Gary M. Milby and his company, Mid-America Energy Inc., asserting that they bilked several hundred investors of more than $19 million in what the commission described as "a fraudulent oil-and-gas investment scheme."
SEC charges four more former Nortel execs
Allegations the men manipulated reserves to change Nortel earnings
The Associated Press
Updated: 6:36 a.m. PT Sept 13, 2007
TORONTO - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has charged four more former Nortel Networks Corp. executives with accounting fraud, alleging they manipulated reserves to change Nortel’s earnings statements on the orders of more senior officers of the Canadian networking equipment maker.
Sept. 21, 2007
ENERGY Edison Is Hit Hard For Fraud On Survey
Category: Lexis Nexis - AC, CG News & Updates, Acc News & Updates, A/F News & Updates, ET News & Updates, PG News & Updates, Main AC RSS Feed, AC - Whats New
BY: LOS ANGELES TIMES – Oct. 2, 2007
ELIZABETH DOUGLASS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
There is "overwhelming" evidence that senior managers at Southern California Edison knew about a seven-year fraud at the Rosemead utility to collect millions of dollars in customer-funded incentives, according to a judge's decision released Monday by the California Public Utilities Commission.
The opinion, written by Administrative Law Judge Robert Barnett, makes official the $200-million cost to Edison that he outlined Thursday in an unusual oral preview of his conclusions. The decision required Edison to lose $160 million in performance bonuses and to pay a $40-million fine -- among the largest ever assessed by the commission.
Waste Management Pays For Executives' Fraud
Washington (Aug. 30, 2005) - Looking to avoid the publicity of a trial, the country's largest trash hauler will pay $26.8 million to cover most of the costs of a settlement between former executives and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The settlement by Waste Management Inc. was approved in U.S. District Court in Chicago. Originally filed in 2002, the SEC suit had accused Waste Management's founder and former chair, Dean Buntrock, and three other former executives of failing to report expenses, postponing costs and filing false financial statements, in order to meet earnings targets between 1992 and 1997.
A new chief executive of the company ordered a review of the company's accounting practices in late 1997, eventually uncovering the problems and leading to a restatement of $1.7 billion in earnings. At the time, the restatement was the largest in the country's history.
In 2001, Waste Management agreed to pay $457 million to settle a class-action lawsuit alleging securities-law violations, and received about $20 million in a related settlement with now-defunct auditor Arthur Andersen LLP. At the time of that settlement, Buntrock reportedly agreed to pay a $2.3 million fine, and Andersen later paid another $7 million to settle with the SEC.
Conviction upheld in Cendant case
A federal appeals court upheld the conviction of former Cendant Corp. Chairman Walter Forbes on Monday for leading an accounting fraud.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York upheld Forbes' conviction on conspiracy to commit securities fraud and two counts of making false statements. Forbes was sentenced to 12 years and seven months in prison and ordered to pay more than $3 billion in restitution. Forbes, 64, reported to prison Aug. 7. 2007.

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