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California settles claims against Reliant for abuse during energy crisis

[JURIST] California Attorney General Bill Lockyer announced Monday that Reliant Energy [corporate website] and California, Oregon, Washington and three other utility companies, have reached a financial settlement for legal claims against Reliant concerning its alleged price-gouging and manipulation of energy costs during the 2000 and 2001 California energy crisis [CNN backgrounder]. California will recover $453 million, and Reliant will refund $135.4 million and erase $299.5 million in still unpaid bills to California-based utility companies. While the settlement resolves all outstanding civil litigation against Reliant, the corporation still faces federal criminal charges [PDF indictment; JURIST report] for allegedly shutting down power plants and submitting false bids to profit from higher energy prices, allegations Reliant denies. Read Reliant's press release and California's press release. Bloomberg has more.

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