The owners of a Waterloo-based biofuel producer have pleaded guilty to conspiracy and fraud charges. The U.S. Department of Justice says Fred Whitmer and Gary Jury received more than $60 million in fraudulent tax credits and renewable fuels credits.
Whitmer and Jury were the co-owners of Triton Energy LLC and Gen2 Renewable Diesel LLC. The DOJ says Whitmer admitted to participating in a scheme, along with other co-conspirators, to claim tax credits and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency RIN credits on renewable fuels that did not qualify for the credits. Jury admitted to participating in a conspiracy to fraudulently claim tax credits and providing false statements to the EPA.
In order to qualify for the tax credits, renewable fuels must be used domestically for transportation. Whitmer admitted selling his fuels for other uses, including the production of fire starter logs and power generation.
"Witmer, Jury, and their co-conspirators defrauded a program Congress had enacted to incentivize the production of biofuels and to help modernize our nation’s energy economy," said Assistant Attorney General Cruden. "These serious crimes undermine these important public policies and this case demonstrates they will not go unpunished. The Justice Department will continue to vigorously prosecute those seeking to manipulate these programs for personal gain."
The DOJ says Whitmer has agreed to serve 57 months in prison and Jury has agreed to serve 30 months in prison. A sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled.