Big Four accounting firm Deloitte & Touche LLP and Reliant Energy Inc. will pay $75 million to settle shareholder class-action lawsuits that alleged that the electric company engaged in illegal trading to boost its stock value during the energy crisis of 2000 and 2001.
The lawsuits said that Reliant participated in a number of "round-trip" trades - arranging for the purchase and sale of stock from the same trader that appeared to boost the volume of trading activity and make it appear that the company had more business. Allegedly, the trades inflated Reliant's revenue and expenses by billions between 1999 and 2002. The company went public in April 2001.
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