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JP Morgan sues Enron, Cogentrix

New York, Dec. 28 (Reuters): JP Morgan Chase & Co. has filed two lawsuits against Enron Corp to recover some $ 184 million it loaned for five power projects, according to court documents.

Separately, the New York bank also filed several suits against power company Cogentrix Energy and subsidiaries for $ 55 million for what it said was improperly drawing down on JP Morgan credit lines for power projects, the suits said.

The suits, all lodged on December 24, were filed against Enron in US bankruptcy court in New York. The other suits were filed in US district court in New York.

All the suits are related to a $ 500 million letter of credit that JP Morgan issued to Enron in May 2001, seven months before Houston-based Enron collapsed in what was then the nation’s largest bankruptcy.

JP Morgan issued the credit line to finance five power projects to be built by Enron subsidiary National Energy Production Co., or Nepco, based in Bothell, Washington, according to the suits.

The Enron complaints, filed in two separate lawsuits, charge that Nepco improperly failed to pay subcontractors and suppliers for the power projects after Enron filed for bankruptcy. Instead, Enron Corp., the parent company, took control of the money, court papers allege.

“No part of the project funds are property of Enron’s bankruptcy estate,” the Enron suits said. JP Morgan “has an immediate right to possession of those funds.”

JP Morgan declined to comment on the suit. Spokespersons for Cogentrix and Enron could not be reached.

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