Woman Pleads Guilty To Bilking Green Energy Supporters Out Of Millions Wang

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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A Pennsylvania woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to helping orchestrate a $54 million Ponzi scheme promising to usher a new revolution in green energy technology.

Amanda Knorr admitted in court to charges of conspiracy wire fraud, as well as securities fraud in a scheme authorities say was advertised as a way to turn trash and refuse into fuel.

Knorr, with help from two colleagues, misled 300 investors that their technology and “carbon-negative” housing in Tennessee made tens of millions of dollars. They were actually broke, and were paying previous investors and themselves with money coming in from new investors.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Livermore said Knorr and her accomplices managed to rake in huge amounts of money despite a crumbling economy because they “presented a fantasy world to prospective investors.”

The scheme went on from 2005-2009. The three green energy phonies were each ordered to pay back nearly $37 million in a 2012 court case.

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has also been accused of constructing a type of Ponzi scheme in building Tesla’s financial operation.

Investment firm Devonshire Research Group shorted Tesla Motors Tuesday after the group issued its second report in a series of exposes showing the company’s business shares similarities with the one created by Enron during the early 2000s.

“Tesla’s financing model is fragile; it is attempting to manage multiple financial instrument models under the same accounting umbrella — to our knowledge, one of the last companies to attempt this level of financial innovation was Enron,” the group’s report states. One minor “misstep in the next two years,” the group adds, “risks entering a death spiral.”

Tesla was criticized for accepting $1,000 deposits in 2016 for the pre-order of the Model 3, which has yet to be mass-produced. The group’s report states the company was able to leverage those cascading deposits “to boost share price” as well as issue new shares.

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