FBI agents and federal prosecutors are investigating the possibility that Enron and other companies conducted fraudulent electricity trades from 1999 to 2001 which resulted in the manipulation of power prices in California, Oregon, and Washington.
The case is being presented to a grand jury in California. Prosecutors are attempting to determine whether former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling and former president and head of trading, Greg Whalley were aware of the fraudulent trades and attempted to conceal them.
Two years ago California, Oregon, and Washington experienced an ongoing series of rolling electricity blackouts, and millions of consumers faced large rate increases for their power usage.
The current investigation could result in criminal charges for several Enron executives and traders, and represent a new direction of possible litigation for the troubled energy company. At least two Enron traders have already invoked their Fifth Amendment privileges and refused to testify in lawsuits relating to the West Coast power crisis.