Under a deferred-prosecution agreement announced Thursday, FirstEnergy admitted that it conspired with public officials and others to pay millions of dollars in bribes. The company agreed to pay $230 million, the largest criminal penalty ever imposed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio.
Investors, however, feared the penalties would be even worse, said
“The market had very bearish expectations for what a worst-case scenario looks like,” Bays said in an interview. “This is not a worst-case scenario.”
FirstEnergy shares climbed 4.3% Thursday, the most since Feb. 18. They paired the gain Friday, slipping 0.7% at 12:51 p.m.
Under the three-year deferred prosecution agreement, authorities have filed a single charge of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud against the company. The charge will be dismissed if FirstEnergy abides by all terms of the agreement.
“FirstEnergy’s Board of Directors moved swiftly and decisively to investigate this matter and, along with the management team, has cooperated and will continue to fully cooperate with the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” Donald T. Misheff, nonexecutive chairman of FirstEnergy’s board of directors, said in a
What Bloomberg Intelligence Says
“Moving beyond charges of bribery by paying a $230 million fine will allow FirstEnergy to turn its full attention to the company’s new all-regulated structure, we believe.
- Kit Konolige, BI Senior Industry Analyst.
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The case began in July 2020 after federal officials
A spokesman for Jones said in a statement that the ex-CEO didn’t engage in any unlawful activity or violate company policies. “Mr. Jones is very disappointed that FirstEnergy would falsely implicate so many hard working and dedicated employees in wrongdoing,” the spokesman, Allan Ripp, said.
Ohio’s attorney general
In November, FirstEnergy
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