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SEC charges South Carolina energy companies, former executives with defrauding investors

Christian Fernsby ▼ | February 28, 2020
The Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday charged SCANA Corp., two of its former top executives, and South Carolina Electric and Gas, now known as Dominion Energy South Carolina, with defrauding investors by making false and misleading statements about a nuclear power plant expansion that was ultimately abandoned.
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The SEC’s complaint alleges that SCANA, its former CEO Kevin Marsh, former Executive Vice President Stephen Byrne, and subsidiary SCEandG misled investors about a project to build two nuclear units that would qualify the company for more than $1 billion in tax credits.

Topics: SEC South Carolina energy

According to the complaint, the defendants claimed that the project was on track even though they knew it was far behind schedule, making it unlikely to qualify for the tax credits.

The complaint further alleges one SCANA executive said that officers of the company "flew around the country showing the same... construction pictures from different angles and played our fiddles" while the project itself "was going up in flames." SCANA abandoned the project in mid 2017 with neither nuclear unit completed.

The complaint alleges that the false statements and omissions enabled SCANA to boost its stock price, sell more than $1 billion in bonds, and obtain regulatory approval to raise customers' rates to finance the project.

The complaint seeks a permanent injunction, return of allegedly ill gotten gains along with prejudgment interest, and financial penalties from all defendants, and an officer and director bar against Marsh and Byrne.


 

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