Man Sentenced for Biofuels Scheme

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INDIANAPOLIS -

A New Jersey man was sentenced in Indianapolis to 20 years in prison and three years of supervised release for his role in a scheme to defraud biodiesel buyers. Joseph Furando, 50, must also pay over $56 million in restitution.

U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler's office says Furando was accused of supplying Middletown-based E biofuels LLC with biodiesel that was made by other companies and had already been used to claim federal tax credits. E biofuels was owned by Furando's co-conspirators. Furando would claim that E biofuels actually made the biodiesel, illegally re-certify the fuel and sell it at a much higher market price.

Furando and his co-defendants sold $145 million worth of fuel made over $55 million in gross profits between 2007 and 2012. E biofuels was also ordered to pay part of the $56 million restitution. The company is in bankruptcy and its remaining assets are being distributed to creditors and victims.

"Programs like the Renewable Fuel Standard and the Blender’s Tax Credit open the path toward energy independence and curbing the impact of climate change," said Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. "When people approach these programs with bad faith and seek to exploit them, these purposes are blocked, American businesses are hurt and the treasury of the United States is depleted. This significant prison sentence sends the right message that such fraud will not be tolerated."

Under the terms of his plea agreement, Furando must forfeit assets he obtained while committing the crime, including a Ferrari and other cars, a million-dollar home, artwork, a piano and two biodisel-powered motorcycles.

All other defendants in the case have pled guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

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