UpdateRIN lawsuit, federal raid hit US biofuel trader Fuel Streamers

24 July 2012 19:57  [Source: ICIS news]

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HOUSTON (ICIS)--US-based biofuels trader Fuel Streamers was sued by another company – accusing it of selling phony biofuel credits – before federal agents raided one of its offices on Tuesday.

The credits, called Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs), serve as credits for the production and blending of renewable fuels. They are used for compliance purposes under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) regulations of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The company, NIC Holding, alleged that it paid Fuel Streamers and related company Green Diesel almost $257,000 (€211,000) for more than 856,000 RINs.

After paying for the RINs, NIC learned that the credits were allegedly fraudulent, the company said in court documents.

It is unclear why federal agents raided one of Fuel Streamers's offices on Tuesday.

An agent at the site referred questions to a public information officer with the US Department of Justice in Washington, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The EPA also referred questions to the same officer.

Although US agencies have yet to comment about the raid, they have already pursued other companies accused of selling phony RINs.

The US last week arrested the head of another company it accused of selling more than $50m worth of fraudulent biodiesel credits.

The head of Fuel Streamers, Philip Rivkin, is also CEO of  Green Diesel, which is under investigation by the EPA.

The EPA alleged that Green Diesel created more than 60m invalid Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs).

Those RINs had a market value of $85m (€70m), according to media accounts.

According to its website, Fuel Streamers' operations are located in north Houston. The company's website said it has more than 250,000 bbl (40m litres) in the Houston area and is serviced by the Teppco pipeline.

The company’s product portfolio includes biodiesel, fuel ethanol, ultra low sulphur diesel, jet fuel and other items.

The company did not immediately reply to a request for more information.

($1 = €0.82)

Additional reporting by Brian Ford

By: Al Greenwood
+1 713 525 2645

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