This week, it was announced that a federal grand jury in Utah had returned an indictment charging the CEO and CFO of Washakie Renewable Energy and a California businessman with laundering the proceeds of a mail fraud scheme. The scheme allegedly acquired more than $511 million in renewable fuel tax credits from the IRS. The indictment alleges that Jacob Kingston was CEO and Isaiah Kingston was CFO of WRE. Each held 50% ownership in the company. WRE is described as the “largest producer of biodiesel and chemicals in the intermountain west”.
It is alleged that the Kingstons and Lev Aslan Dermen, who owned the California-based NOIL Energy Group, schemed to file false claims for renewable fuel tax credits, which ultimately caused the Internal Revenue Service to issue more than $511 million to WRE. Jacob Kingston is also charged with filing nine false claims for refunds on behalf of the company in 2013. The IRS administered the tax credits, which were designed to increase the amount of renewable fuel used and produced in the United States.
The indictment alleges that the defendants created false production records and other paperwork. They are also accused of rotating products through places in the United States and at least one foreign country to make it appear that qualifying fuel transactions were taking place. At this point in time, the defendants are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. Further details have been made available here.