A grand jury charged three top energy company executives with laundering more than half a billion dollars in renewable fuel tax credits Friday, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Jacob and Isaiah Kingston serve as CEO and CFO, respectively, of Utah-based Washakie Renewable Energy (WRE), a renewable energy company operated and funded in part by a polygamous sect of Mormonism known as the Kingston Group. The brothers allegedly conspired with Lev Aslan Dermen, owner of California-based NOIL Energy Group, to defraud the IRS of $511 million worth of renewable energy tax credits from 2010 to 2016. (RELATED: Economist Uncovers ‘The Latest Solar Scam’ In Minnesota)
Jacob Kingston is also charged with filing nine false tax refund claims.
The trio allegedly created false production and other documents, shipped and moved products around the U.S. and Panama and communicated through burner phones to pull off the scheme for six straight years, according to the DOJ, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.
Jacob Kingston allegedly bought a $3 million house as part of a money laundering operation to qualify for the renewable tax credits. The Kingston brothers also allegedly teamed up to purchase a 2010 Bugatti Veyron, a high-end sports car, for about $1.7 million. Only 450 Bugatti Veyrons were produced and sold worldwide.
The Kingston brothers have pleaded not guilty to the charges. If convicted, Jacob Kingston could serve a maximum of 87 years in prison while Isaiah Kingston and Dermen face a maximum of two decades each. The group will also be stripped of all the money used in the scheme, the mansion and the Bugatti.
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