Bay Area federal prosecutors charged a former local oil company executive with conspiracy to manipulate the oil market.
Authorities charged the suspect, Emilio Collado, or also known as Emilio Heredia, earlier this month with a single count of conspiracy. The documents read that in 1998 Collado worked with two different oil companies, one of which was bought by the other in 2014.
Officials accused Collado and other unnamed individuals who allegedly worked with him as purposely misleading price assessors from the value of oil which “did not reflect legitimate forces of supply and demand.”
The suspect allegedly manipulated the prices based on his company’s needs, raising them when they were selling, and dragging them down when they were buying. One example happened on August 24, 2016 where Collado reduced the price of oil by approximately $40 per metric ton. The incident caused “an unlawful gain of hundreds of thousands of dollars to Company B” on one single day, the East Bay Times reported.
Authorities scheduled Collado to appear in court on Wednesday afternoon before United States District Judge Charles Breyer for a change of plea hearing. The suspect faces up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 if convicted of the crimes.