United States District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ordered JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) to clarify its position as to why it is refusing to release the remaining 25 e-mails involved in the possible energy-market manipulation case filed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) against the company on July 2, reports Bloomberg Businessweek
The FERC alleged that the bidding practices of JPMorgan in California and the Midwest suggest irregularity. According to Thomas Olson, legal counsel for FERC, the company’s bidding strategies resulted to highly inflated payments with a total amount of approximately $73 million from Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator Inc. and California ISO. In addition, FERC also claimed that JP Morgan is “improperly using the attorney-client privilege” to hold back the 53 original e-mails involved in the investigation launched by the Commission against the company in April.
Justice Kolla-Kotelly ruling states that JP Morgan needs to submit to the court an unredacted form of the 25-emails in question. The judge also ordered that the company present declarations and competent evidences to support any claim of privilege.
In response to the situation, JP Morgan’s spokesperson said that the company is confident that it did not break any aspect of the law, applicable tariffs including FERC rules in its transactions. She also pointed out that the investigation about the case is still ongoing and the company welcomes any court assistance to resolve the issue. From the original 53 e-mails requested by FERC, JP Morgan already released 28 e-mails. FERC’s investigation concentrates on winning inflated “make-whole” payments.
Furthemore, Justice Kolla-Kotelly also asked the FERC and JPMorgan to file a brief on July 10 requesting the magistrate judge to handle the case and to give consent that any appeals would be brought directly to the United States Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. She pointed out that if both parties agree to the condition, the court can make faster decisions .