Mississippi alleges fraud by Entergy, utility says no proof
By JEFF AMY
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi's attorney general alleges the state's largest private utility defrauded customers by not buying cheaper power from outside companies.
With Mississippi Attorney General Hood watching, lawyers argued Monday in federal court in Jackson that Entergy Mississippi should be forced to repay up to $2 billion to its 447,000 customers. The state says Entergy ignored cheaper power plants, seeking to put them out of business.
But the lawyers for the unit of New Orleans-based Entergy Corp. say rates were mostly low during the period of alleged wrongdoing. The utility says it used its own power plants, even if they were expensive to run, to handle fluctuations in power supplies.
U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves, and not a jury, will decide if Entergy is guilty. The trial is expected to last weeks.
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