Ex-owner of US-biodiesel company gets 188 months for falsifying RINs

29 March 2013 22:06  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--A 30-year-old former biodiesel company owner was sentenced on Friday to 188 months in federal prison, fined $175,000 (€136,500) and ordered to pay more than $54.9m in restitution, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced.

Jeffrey David Gunselman was sentenced by US District Judge Sam Cummings after Gunselman had pleaded guilty in December to 51 counts of wire fraud, 24 counts of money laundering and four counts of making false statements in violation of the Clean Air Act.

Gunselman, who was the owner of US-based Absolute Fuels, admitted that from September 2010 to October 2011 he had devised a scheme to defraud the EPA by falsely representing that he was in the business of producing biodiesel. However, he did not have a biodiesel-producing facility.

Instead, Gunselman’s business operation consisted of falsely generating renewable fuel credits (RINs) and selling them to oil companies and brokers.

The EPA said he had instructed purchasers to wire payments to a bank account he solely controlled, and as a result, nearly $42m was deposited into that account.

Gunselman also took part in monetary transactions in criminally derived property by purchasing real and personal property valued at approximately $12m. Included in that were several vehicles, including a Bentley, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Cadillac and Shelby Cobra; a Patton Military Tank; a Gulfstream airplane; professional basketball season tickets and corporate sponsorship; and agricultural, business and residential real estate.

The false statements convictions stem from Gunselman falsely claiming and representing to the EPA that biodiesel, a renewable fuel, had been produced, generating renewable fuel credits when he well knew that no biodiesel fuel had been produced.

($1 = €0.78)

By: Jeremy Pafford
+1 713 525 2653

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