More Businesses Snared in Pasco Biofuel Fraud Scheme
Another business owner is facing fraud charges after it was found they participated in a green energy fraudulent business based out of Pasco.
You may recall in 2017 Scott C. Johnson, 43, of Burbank, was sentenced to 8 years in prison over his role in green power fraud stemming from the now defunct Pasco Gen X Energy Company.
The company had a Pasco venue but also involved startups in Moses Lake and even out of state. Johnson and the company were reportedly producing biofuel. Except they WEREN'T, but kept receiving federal incentives in the form of tax credits, bilking the government out of millions.
Now the owner of a trucking company is facing charges for involvement in the scheme. Hector Garza of HTC Trucking and Freedom Fuel has plead guilty in federal court for attempting to defrauding the government and making false claims to the IRS.
Garza worked with Johnson to haul the same load of biofuel back and forth to Moses Lake so he, Johnson, and Gen X Energy could receive incentives for every load that was supposedly produced.
Several other charges against Garza and his wife were dropped in return for the guilty plea. Gen X Energy is the second local green energy company to be accused of fraud.
Michael Spitzhauer served jail time and was later deported for his role in Green Power at the Port of Pasco, which reportedly was going to create biofuel from waste products. That project went under in 2015.
Gen X Energy became the 110th green energy company in the U.S. to be hit with such fraud and corruption charges.
The green power craze swept the nation during the Obama administration with an ill-fated stimulus that saw hundreds of millions wasted on such projects.
Solyndra, the failed solar panel energy company in California, became the poster child for such projects.