Prison, Hefty Fines Handed Down in Federal Clean Energy Fraud
A Richland man and woman will spend a combined 2 years four months in prison, and face large six figure fines for their role in a fraud case involving a bogus biofuel company as well as energy credits.
49-year-old Hector Garza Jr. and 38-year-old Tammy Garza are facing nearly $400,000 in fines and restitution, and Hector will spend two years in prison. They had previously plead guilty last summer, their sentencing was this week in Federal Court in Richland.
Officials said their trucking company HTG Trucking LLC and another business they ran, Freedom Fuel Inc. were part of a fraud scheme involving biofuel. They defrauded the government and the IRS by claiming to transport biofuel made at a plant run by the Gen X Energy Group, formerly of Pasco and Moses Lake.
Officials say they claimed and then sold hundreds of thousands worth of energy credits by shuttling the same fuel back and forth between the Gen X plant and their businesses in Othello. They were supposed to be transporting designated amounts of fuel to get those credits, but officials say Gen X never produced near the amount they claimed they did.
To keep obtaining and selling the energy credits, the Garza's kept moving the same fuel loads back and forth. This allowed them to generate the fraudulent energy credits.
Gen X is now defunct, it's creator and operator having also been charged and found guilty of fraud nearly a year and a half ago.
It's no secret the 'clean energy' arena has been full of fraudulent fake businesses, dozens of them have been shut down and prosecuted by the government.
Also, a number of wind energy companies have gone bankrupt, (see image of exploded wind turbine) leaving the Federal government stuck with unpaid development and business loans.