Energy News Today

SCE&G executive to plead guilty to fraud charges


SC Electric and Gas ratepayers and investors have long wondered if they would get justice.

Now they know that against at least one SCE&G executive they may.

SCE&G Chief Operating Officer Steve Byrne, the executie directly responsible for overseeing a failed $9 nuclear reactor project, has reached an ageement with prosecutors.

What they offered him to plead guilty to massive fraud charges is not yet known.

Prosecutors said more charges are due in a 3-year federal investigation, the Charleston Post and Courier reported.

Byrne specifically is pleading guilty to wire and mail fraud.

Byrne and 2 forrmer CEOs, Kevin Marsh and Jimmy Addison, are accused of hiding evidence of the failing project as customers’ electric rates soared and investors’ share value plunged.

An effort to reach Byrne’s attorney was unsuccessful.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has accused Marsh, Byrne and their former company of fraud in an 87-page civil lawsuit that strongly hinted at possible criminal charges.

The twin reactors were supposed to produce carbon-free nuclear power amid predictions of greater energy demand.

Executives persuaded lawmakers to let them raise rates as needed to pay for construction.

SCE&G’s 731,000 ratepayers paid nearly $2 billion.

SCE&G’s pwners, the SCANA Corp., was bought by Virginia power giant Dominion Energy in 2019.

The new owners lowered SCE&G ratepayers’ bills but plans to charge customers $2.3 billion more.

 





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2020-06-09 11:38:48

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