Owners of Ind. company sentenced to prison for fraud scheme

Source: Amanda Reilly, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, July 20, 2017

Two owners of an Indiana biofuel company yesterday received prison sentences for their roles in a $60 million fraud scheme, the Justice Department announced yesterday.

The sentencing comes after Fred Witmer, 46, and Gary Jury, 58, who co-owned Waterloo, Ind.-based Triton Energy LLC, pleaded guilty in October to conspiracy, fraud and false statements. The pair also owned another company at the same address called Gen2 Renewable Diesel LLC.

Northern District of Indiana Senior Judge James Moody sentenced Witmer to 57 months in prison, while Jury received 30 months.

According to the Justice Department, the pair generated more than $60 million in fake tax and renewable fuel credits by claiming the credits for non-qualifying fuel and deceiving buyers.

Under the renewable fuel standard, qualifying biofuel must be used as transportation fuel. But Witmer admitted in October that he claimed credit for fuel sold to be made into fire starter logs and asphalt and cement production.

“The defendants’ massive fraud in this case undermines the competitive and fair marketplace on which law-abiding renewable fuels producers depend,” said acting Assistant Administrator Larry Starfield for U.S. EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.