Prison for 3 former El Paso Corp. traders

AP News
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Posted: Dec 18, 2009 12:01 PM

Three former El Paso Corp. traders are going to prison over their efforts to manipulate the price of natural gas by reporting false data.

A federal judge in Houston on Thursday sentenced 50-year-old James Brooks, 47-year-old Wesley C. Walton and 50-year-old James Patrick Phillips.

Brooks, sentenced to 14 years in prison, was convicted in February 2008 of one count of conspiracy, 22 counts of false reporting and 22 counts of wire fraud.

Walton was convicted of one count of conspiracy, 11 counts of false reporting and 11 counts of wire fraud. Phillips was convicted of one count of conspiracy, 10 counts of false reporting and 10 counts of wire fraud.

Walton and Phillips must serve 135-month terms.

Prosecutors say the false data was submitted to industry publications, going back to 2000.