USA: Man gets 20 years for ‘huge’ biofuels scam

The New Jersey citizen Joseph Furando will spend the next 20 years in prison after a federal judge in Indiana sentenced him in a biodiesel scam described as the largest of its kind in Indiana’s history, reports He also will have to pay restitution of $56 million and give up a million-dollar home, a Ferrari, artwork and two biodiesel-powered motorcycles.

From 2007 through 2012, Furando and Tracy Pattison, worked with E-Biofuels to falsely label their products as high market, pure biodiesel, according to authorities. As of May 24, 2010, e-biofuels, LLC operated as a subsidiary of Imperial Petroleum, Inc. Furando and Pattison were both high-ranking executives at Park Ridge alternative energy companies, Caravan Trading Company, LLC and Tracy at Cima Green, LLC, respectively.

Furando and his co-defendants sold $145 million worth of fuel made over $55 million in gross profits between 2007 and 2012. E biofuels was also ordered to pay part of the $56 million restitution. The company is in bankruptcy and its remaining assets are being distributed to creditors and victims.

Furando admitted in court last year that he and his companies bought biodiesel, repackaged it as high-quality and sold it to E-Biofuels — a company based in Indiana and Middletown — to claim tax credits and profit off the mark up, prosecutors said.

By illegally re-certifying the fuel as qualifying for tax credits, Furando and his associates were able to make “huge” profits of as much as $15,000 per truckload of fuel, the justice department said. In all, it said, the group sold 35 million gallons of fuel for a total cost of more than $145.5 million, reaping gross profits of more than $55 million. 2016.01.10 /Lennart Ljungblom