It might be the closest we'll get to a guilty plea.
FirstEnergy says it’s talking to the U.S. Justice Department to avoid possible criminal charges in the House Bill 6 bribery probe.
The company's strategic overview states that it has begun discussing what’s called a deferred prosecution agreement, through which the company might pay a fine to avoid criminal prosecution.
FirstEnergy says it expects resolution of the HB6 case to hurt the company
Whatever the resolution, it likely would harm the company, FirstEnergy reported. "FirstEnergy believes that it is probable that it will incur a loss in connection with the resolution of this investigation."
Follow the money trail
Remember how FirstEnergy’s internal investigation into the federal HB 6 corruption case identified money improperly collected from customers?
FirstEnergy now admits that money used to fund the HB6 bribery scheme came from customers in Ohio, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
Exactly how much money was improperly collected from customers remains a closely guarded secret, but some details have trickled out of FirstEnergy and more may be on the way.
Fines are all well and good, but when companies behave like criminals at the expense of their customers and corrupt those who hold the public trust, is it too much to expect they be prosecuted like criminals?
We don’t think so.