El Paso Corp. Fined For Juggling The Books

     HOUSTON (CN) – El Paso Corp. and five former executives will pay hundreds of thousands of dollar to settle SEC charges of juggling the books to the tune of $1.7 billion, inflating its oil and gas reserves by more than 35 percent and misleading investors.

     El Paso had to restate its financial reports from 1999 through 2003, reducing its oil and gas reserves by 35 percent and reducing its earnings by $1.7 billion. El Paso did not admit wrongdoing it the settled federal complaint, El Paso’s Exploration and Production president Rodney Erskine was fined $75,000, and four executives were fined $40,000 each: senior vice president Randy Bartley, and vice presidents Steven Hochstein, John Perry and Bryan Simmons.

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