The top federal US energy regulator has accused banking giant JP Morgan Chase of manipulating energy prices, according to a "preliminary" document.
However, according to a source close to the negotiations, the document's publication is "a formality" and a $400 million settlement should be announced in the coming days, ending the proceedings.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) investigation found that between September 2010 and June 2011 the bank's Ventures Energy Corporation "engaged in five manipulative bidding strategies designed to improperly obtain payments at above-market rates" from California's independent power grid operator.
From October 2010 to May 2011, it said JPMVEC "engaged in three manipulative strategies aimed at improperly obtaining excessive payments from" the power grid operator in the US Midwest.
JPMVEC has denied any wrongdoing.