In recent news, a neighborhood tip led to a federal investigation of Clean Green Fuel, a company that allegedly produces renewable fuel. Federal prosecutors allege that the owner, Rodney Hailey, never produced a drop of clean biodiesel. They say that he simply sold phony renewable fuel credits to major oil companies, brokers and producers, and pocketed the cash.
A little background on the subject of clean energy: The US has mandated that companies that make or import gasoline or diesel are required to use a certain amount of renewable fuel. However, there is a loophole, if a company cannot purchase renewable fuel, they can buy credits that represent renewable fuel another company has made. These credits are referred to as RINs or renewable identification numbers.
Clean Green Fuel allegedly sold fraudulent RINs to major oil companies. Hailey, 33, sold 32 million credits representing more than 21 million gallons of clean biodiesel from March 2009 through December 2010. Clean Green Fuel allegedly made more than $9 million dollars from the RINs sold. The recent discovery of Clean Green Fuel has also lead to more investigations throughout the country and has put the EPA under a microscope for how they will implement future fraud controls.
Leading fraud expert, Linda Webb, aka The Fraud Dog says that fraudster will tap into “Green Energy” markets hoping that that there will be little oversight. Because green energy is a fairly new concept the fraudster sees an untapped opportunity. With downsizing of federal government positions, there are less investigators, inspectors, and regulators to watch over this new and expanding area of the renewable fuels industry. Other forms of green energy will be explored, initiated, and developed and in return there will also be new forms of “green energy fraud.” New ideas, bring new types of fraud. Fraudsters love new industries because there is typically undiscovered vulnerability points, little oversight, and there are not yet skilled investigators who understand the new type of fraud involved. The Fraud Dog reminds everyone that if you see something that looks potentially fraudulent, you should report it just like Rodney Hailey’s neighbors did. You can see that even a small tip can lead to a massive fraud discovery.
To report potentially fraudulent activity, contact The Fraud Dog at 1-855-FRAUD-DOG.