Duke Energy Concealed `Wash' Energy Trades Alleges Berger & Montague, P.C. -- DUK

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, UNITED STATES


PHILADELPHIA, July 8, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- On June 10, 2002, the law firm of Berger & Montague, P.C. (http://www.bergermontague.com) filed a class action suit against Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE:DUK) ("Duke") and certain of its principal officers and directors in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Charlotte Division on behalf of all persons or entities who purchased Duke common stock between July 22, 1999 and May 17, 2002 (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Duke Energy Corporation and certain of its officers and directors with issuing false and misleading statements concerning its business and financial condition. Specifically, throughout the Class Period, as alleged in the Complaint, defendants issued numerous statements and filed quarterly and annual reports with the SEC which described the Company's increasing revenues and financial performance. These statements were materially false and misleading because they failed to disclose and/or misrepresented the following adverse facts, among others: (i) that the Company had engaged in approximately $1 billion of "round-trip" energy trades that provided no economic benefit for the Company; (ii) that the Company lacked the necessary internal controls to adequately monitor the trading of its power; and (iii) that as a result, the value of the Company's revenues and financial results were materially overstated at all relevant times.

On May 17, 2002, the last day of the Class Period, the Company issued a press release announcing that it had "analyzed its trades for the three-year period from 1999 through 2001 to identify those trades which may have some of the characteristics of sell/buy-back trades." These trades, known as "round-trip" or "wash" transactions, involve the simultaneous buying and trading of power in the same price and same amount and provide no economic benefit to the Company. Following this announcement, and the disclosure of inquiries by both the Federal Regulatory Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission, the market price of Duke stock fell to $30.05 per share, after reaching a split-adjusted Class Period high of $44.97 on November 30, 2000.

If you purchased Duke common stock during the period from July 22, 1999 through May 17, 2002, inclusive, you may, no later than July 22, 2002, move to be appointed as a Lead Plaintiff. A Lead Plaintiff is a representative party that acts on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 directs courts to assume that the class member(s) with the "largest financial interest" in the outcome of the case will best serve the class in this capacity. Courts have discretion in determining which class member(s) have the "largest /financial interest," and have appointed Lead Plaintiffs with substantial losses in both absolute terms and as a percentage of their net worth. If you have sustained substantial losses in Duke common stock during the Class Period, please contact Berger & Montague, P.C. at investorprotect@bm.net for a more thorough explanation of the Lead Plaintiff selection process.

The law firm of Berger & Montague, P.C. has over 50 attorneys, all of whom represent plaintiffs in complex litigation. The Berger firm has extensive experience representing plaintiffs in class action securities litigation and has played lead roles in major cases over the past 25 years which have resulted in recoveries of several billion dollars to investors. The firm is currently representing investors as lead counsel in actions against Rite Aid, Sotheby's, Waste Management, Inc., Sunbeam, Boston Chicken and IKON Office Solutions, Inc. The standing of Berger & Montague, P.C. in successfully conducting major securities and antitrust litigation has been recognized by numerous courts. For example:


     "Class counsel did a remarkable job in representing the class
     interests."  In Re: IKON Offices Solutions Securities Litigation.
     Civil Action No. 98-4286(E.D.Pa.) (partial settlement for
     $111 million approved May, 2000).

     "...(Y)ou have acted the way lawyers at their best ought to act.
     And I have had a lot of cases... in 15 years now as a judge and I
     cannot recall a significant case where I felt people were better
     represented than they are here ... I would say this has been the
     best representation that I have seen."  In Re: Waste Management,
     Inc. Securities Litigation, Civil Action No. 97-C 7709 
     (N.D. Ill.) (settled in 1999 for $220 million).

If you purchased Duke common stock during the Class Period, please visit our website at www.bergermontague.com to view the complaint and join the class action or if you have any questions concerning this notice or your rights with respect to this matter, please contact:


      Sherrie R. Savett, Esquire
      Carole A. Broderick, Esquire
      Kimberly A. Walker, Investor Relations Manager
      Berger & Montague, P.C.
      1622 Locust Street
      Philadelphia, PA 19103
      Phone: 888-891-2289 or 215-875-3000
      Fax: 215-875-5715
      Website: http://www.bergermontague.com
      e-mail: InvestorProtect@bm.net

More information on this and other class actions can be found on the Class Action Newsline at www.primezone.com/ca



        

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