Shares of First Energy Corp.
FE,
+3.84%

charged up 4.4% toward a one-year high after the Ohio-based utility said it reached an agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to pay $230 million to resolve an investigation by the Department of Justice into allegations of bribery disclosed in July 2020. As part of the three-year deferred prosecution agreement, the company will pay the $230 million penalty, split equally between the U.S. Treasury and the Ohio Development Service Agency. The company has also agreed to to the government’s filing of a single charge of “conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud,” which the charge to be dismissed if FirstEnergy abides by the settlement agreement. The company said it has taken remedial actions, including employment consequences for executives and employees who engaged in misconduct, enhancements to compliance programs, improvements to policies and procedures and remediation to ratepayers. “Moving forward, we are intently focused on fostering a strong culture of compliance and ethics, starting at the top, and ensuring we have robust processes in place to prevent the type of misconduct that occurred in the past,” said Chief Executive Steven Strah. The stock has run up 28.0% year to date, while the SPDR Utilities Select Sector ETF
XLU,
+0.14%

has edged up 3.8% and the S&P 500
SPX,
+0.06%

has gained 15.9%.

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