JPMorgan refuses to hand over emails in energy manipulation case

NEW YORK Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:01pm EDT

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co reasserted attorney-client privilege as the reason it will not hand over emails to U.S. regulators investigating the bank for possible electricity market manipulation, according to court documents filed on Friday.

The investigation by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission follows complaints from grid operators that JPMorgan traders may have bid up electricity prices by some $73 million in California and the Midwest.

The federal energy market regulator issued two subpoenas, one in April and one in May, ordering the bank to produce 25 emails or give a reason why it should not by 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT) on Friday.

"The investigation remains in the fact finding stage and FERC has made no determination that Respondent engaged in misconduct," lawyers representing the bank stated in the 23-page memo.

The FERC is expected to file a reply by noon EDT on Tuesday.

Tom Olson, the lead FERC investigator, declined to comment.

A spokeswoman for JPMorgan said the bank had no further comment beyond the filing.

The probe comes as U.S. federal investigators also look into whether JPMorgan traders hid trading losses at the bank totaling some $5.8 billion.

(Reporting By Jeanine Prezioso; editing by Andre Grenon)

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