Renewable fuels trader pleads guilty to fraud scheme

Source: Amanda Reilly, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The owner of a New York renewable fuels trading company pleaded guilty yesterday to a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme.

Gregory Schnabel, owner of GRC Fuels Inc., admitted in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio to his role in a conspiracy and agreed to pay more than $13 million in restitution to the IRS.

The Justice Department said Schnabel and co-conspirators claimed both tax credits and renewable fuel standard program credits on biofuel that either didn’t qualify or had already generated credits.

In all, the scheme generated more than $47 million in fake U.S. EPA renewable fuel credits and more than $12 million in fake tax credits.

“This case is another example that environmental programs are not immune from fraud,” U.S. Attorney Benjamin Glassman of the Southern District of Ohio said in a statement. “We will continue to catch and hold accountable those who attempt to defraud government programs of any sort.”

Several individuals have already pleaded guilty for their role in the scheme.