LUBBOCK, Texas (CN) – The CEO of Absolute Fuel lied about producing biofuel, sold the resulting renewable fuel credits for $41.7 million and used some of the money to buy a Patton tank, federal prosecutors say.
Indicted on 79 counts of wire fraud, money laundering and making false statements under the Clean Air Act were Jeffrey David Gunselman, Absolute and four other entities Gunselman controlled.
The credits, known as Renewable Identification Numbers, were created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for nonrenewable fuel producers and importers to purchase, to meet federal requirements to include a percentage of renewable fuel in the fossil fuel they sell each year.
Prosecutors say Gunselman, of Lubbock, broke the law when he generated more than 48 million RINs without actually producing the bio-diesel.
“Gunselman and each corporate defendant falsely stated to employees of EPA contractor Bionetics Corporation, conducting a compliance inspection of Absolute Fuels LLC, as authorized by the EPA, that documents and records requested for review by the EPA were not available because defendants had been ‘extremely busy’ and ‘unable to assemble’ the documents, and ‘needed more time’ to assemble the documents when, as the defendants well knew, said records did not exist,” the indictment states.
Prosecutors say Gunselman sold the credits in 51 transactions to fossil fuel producers including Citgo, Tesoro, ConocoPhillips, Marathon, Sunoco and BP, from September 2010 to October 2011
Gunselman allegedly made several lavish purchases with the money: $1.6 million on a Gulfstream aircraft, $355,000 on a Patton demilitarized tank, $166,000 on San Antonio Spurs season tickets and corporate sponsorship, $100,000 on credits at Las Vegas casinos, $2.78 million on homes in Lubbock and Boerne, and more than $700,000 in several sports cars.
Gunselman “obtained money through the wire transfer scheme and used it to purchase real and personal luxury property and commodities in excess of $30 million,” Secret Service Agent Michael Fiveash said in an affidavit filed in a criminal information.