Energy company El Paso Corp., its subsidiaries and five former employees settled fraud charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission for improperly inflating proven oil and gas reserves and providing misleading financial statements.

"This essentially dates back to 2003," said spokesman Richard Wheatley. "We were reviewing our 2003 year-end reserves and found they were overstated by more than 40 percent, or roughly 1.8 trillion cubic feet of equivalent reserves."

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